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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.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Daily Drift

Prescribed by sane people for the insane delusions of wingnuts ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

For those interested: In World Cup play Colombia bested Japan 4-1: Greece bested Ivory Coast 2-1: Uruguay bested Italy 1-0 while Costa Rica and England played to a 0-0 tie in play on the thirteenth day of the tourney.

Big Fish ... !
Today is - National Catfish Day
Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Managua and Tipitapa, Nicaragua
Calgary, Joliette, Britannia, L'ancienne-Lorette, Toronto, Provost and Fredericton, Canada
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Bogota, Colombia
Col. Bosques De Las Lomas, Mexico
Aalen, Eschborn, Bank, Nuremberg and Gera, Germany
Naxos, Greece
Rome and Treviso, Italy
Moscow, Ryazan, Vladivostok and Rostov-Na-Donu, Russia
Vinnytsya and Mykolayiv, Ukraine
Frederiksberg, Denmark
Riga, Latvia
Madrid and L'Olleria, Spain
Rouen, Salon-De-Provence and Paris, France
Drogenbos, Belgium
Bergen Op Zoom, Netherlands
Vinicne Sumice, Czech Republic
Dublin, Ireland
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Stockholm, Sweden
Czerwionka-Leszczyny, Poland
Muscat, Oman
Pune, Mumbai, New Delhi, Suratgarh, Delhi, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Bhindar, Chennai and Chandigarh, India
Butterworth and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tehran and Mashhad, Iran
Singapore, Singapore
Hanoi and Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Seongnam, Korea
Bangkok, Thailand
Jakarta, Indonesia
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Doha, Qatar
Cairo, Egypt
Durban, South Africa
Ikeja and Lagos, Nigeria
Harare and Shurugwi, Zimbabwe
Narok, Kenya
The Pacific
Sydney and Darwin, Australia
Manila, Philippines

Today in History

841 Charles the Bald and Louis the German defeat Lothar at Fontenay.
1658 Aurangzeb proclaims himself emperor of the Moghuls in India.
1767 Mexican Indians riot as Jesuit priests are ordered home.
1857 Gustave Flaubert goes on trial for public immorality regarding his novel, Madame Bovary.
1862 The first day of the Seven Days' campaign begins with fighting at Oak Grove, Virginia.
1864 Union troops surrounding Petersburg, Virginia, begin building a mine tunnel underneath the Confederate lines.
1868 The U.S. Congress enacts legislation granting an eight-hour day to workers employed by the federal government.
1876 General George A. Custer and over 260 men of the Seventh Cavalry are wiped out by Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at Little Big Horn in Montana.
1903 Marie Curie announces her discovery of radium.
1920 The Greeks take 8,000 Turkish prisoners in Smyrna.
1921 Samuel Gompers is elected head of the American Federation of Labor for the 40th time.
1941 Finland declares war on the Soviet Union.
1946 Ho Chi Minh travels to France for talks on Vietnamese independence.
1948 The Soviet Union tightens its blockade of Berlin by intercepting river barges heading for the city.
1950 North Korea invades South Korea, beginning the Korean War.
1959 The Cuban government seizes 2.35 million acres under a new agrarian reform law.
1962 The U.S. Supreme Court bans official prayers in public schools.
1964 President Lyndon Johnson orders 200 naval personnel to Mississippi to assist in finding three missing civil rights workers.
1973 White House Counsel John Dean admits President Nixon took part in the Watergate cover-up.
1986 Congress approves $100 million in aid to the Contras fighting in Nicaragua.

Non Sequitur


Faux News’ Lauren Ashburn Says It’s Not Fair to Blame Faux News for Misinformation

From the "You've got to be kidding, right!?" Department:
Lauren Ashburn says it's not Faux News that spread misinformation but paid contributors and that Faux News is therefore free of blame…
Move over “You didn’t build that.” It’s time for “Faux News didn’t say that.”
Faux News apparently feels the same way about the quality of their on-air programming as many big corporations do about the quality of their manufactured products. In other words, people have no right to question their ingredients. No matter how substandard or even harmful they may be.
Lauren Ashburn, who, with Howard Kurtz, co-hosts MediaBuzz (Sundays 11AM-12PM/ET) “to discuss the state of the news media and the media’s shaping of current events and their role in politics, culture, business, technology and sports,” said that, “it’s just not fair” to blame Faux News for misinformation presented on their programming:
(Speaking of misinformation and media buzz, there have been some questions about Ashburn’s own credentials, though I am certain none of that is the fault of Faux News either. They can hardly be blamed for what they tell you on air.)
That’s right. Faux News is not responsible for its own content. The buck stops…nowhere.
Specifically, Ashburn was whining about fallout from her network’s recent miscue surrounding the capture of Benghazi suspect Ahmet Abu Khattala. You’ll remember that Khattala was inconveniently and suspiciously captured on June 17.
For no reason I can discern other than because Obama is black and it was a Tuesday, Faux News immediately suggested the timing of the capture was almighty convenient for Hilary Clinton, coinciding as it did with the release of her new book, Hard Choices (published June 10) and book tour (which also kicked off June 10 at the Union Square Barnes & Noble store in New York City).
Justin Baragona discussed Faux News’ reaction to Khattala’s capture on June 17:
Over at Faux News, the network 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 discussion show Outnumbered, contributors Kennedy (of MTV infamy) 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.
So even a Faux News anchor isn’t responsible for what he says on-air? Then who is? And don’t forget Dimbulb:
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.
Ashburn’s defense of Faux News strains credulity almost as much as Faux News itself:
[T]he more outlandish the comments, the more the websites are going to say ‘oh my gosh, Faux News said this, and they made this point,’ and it’s funny because Faux News didn’t say that, those individual contributors said that. It’s just not fair to do that.
Ashburn has some peculiar ideas about fairness. Besides the presentation of her own credentials, there is her disturbing fixation with President Obama shopping habits.
You seriously have to question the acumen of a person who turns President Obama’s purchase of pink sweaters for his daughters into an accusation, saying Obama has “got to learn to take his lumps.”
I do think Ashburn forgot the saying about people living in glass houses.
I absolutely do not think it is Obama who has to learn to take his lumps, but clearly, Faux News (and by extension, Lauren Ashburn), ever so sensitive to criticism of the shoddy quality of its content.
Back in December 2013, Dave Weigel at Slate opined that Ashburn “has almost nothing to say about anything.” He is right that she has nothing meaningful to say, but consider if you will that she works for a network that questions why anyone would bother to tell the truth about anything when it can just as easily make up outrageous lies instead.
And look, it is hardly surprising that a network that prefers lies to facts would shy away from taking responsibility for those lies when, inevitably, they are questioned.
Ashburn’s complaint that her network not be held responsible for the content it airs not only contrasts unfavorably with our president’s willingness to accept personal responsibility, but it is yet another nail in Faux News’ self-made reality bubble, which can more reasonably be thought of as a coffin full of angry old white people eager to embrace irrelevance as the price of doing business.

The truth be told

Homeowners found real-life Goldilocks asleep on their couch

A 19-year-old woman accused of breaking into a Florida home, taking a shower, changing into the homeowner's pajamas, making herself some food and falling asleep on the couch is facing charges of burglary, theft and criminal mischief. According to the St. Augustine Beach police, Chancy Layton entered the home at St. Augustine Beach at around 9:30pm on Friday.
She told investigating officers she was told by a male friend that the house was empty and she could enter through an unlocked door on the balcony and stay there. Layton said when the homeowners came home at about 2:30am, she got scared and ran out of the home, leaving her purse and passport behind. The homeowners were equally shocked. "Not what I expected to see when I walked into my house. We just stood there a bit, looking at each other, like, 'What do we do?'" Cheryl Petocz said.
"There was lots of bottles of wine that she drank. She was clearly not in a clear state. I told her I was calling police. As soon as I said that, she grabbed few things and ran out the house, out the back door." The arrest report says that when Layton was spotted by a St. Johns County deputy one block away, she was very apologetic and wished to return the clothes to the homeowner. The report says Layton began to have trouble breathing and was transported to Flagler Hospital for treatment.
There, officers learned from Layton's mother that she was suicidal. Layton told officers she went to the home to "escape," be alone and not have to sleep outside. When Layton was medically cleared at the hospital, she was booked into the St. Johns County jail. She promised to seek medical help to work on her issues, posted a $8,000 bond and was released. Layton told police that the male friend, who she only knew as Jeremy, got to the house before she did, broke the back door, stole two bottles of wine and left the balcony door open for her to enter. Police are now trying to find "Jeremy," who would also face charges in this case.

Woman allegedly shoplifted out of sympathy for friend

A 43-year-old Florida woman who was allegedly caught during a retail theft told police that she did it because she felt sorry for a friend.
Peggy Sue Holm from Crestview, entered Walmart on June 10 and picked up five items worth $91.64, according to the arrest report.
She then put the items in her purse and exited the store, failing to pay for the items.
Holm told officers that she took the items because she was feeling sorry for a friend and didn't have the money to pay for them, the report said. Holm is charged with retail theft. Her next scheduled court date is July 8.

Robbery suspect lost 'bet' that victim didn't have a gun

Police in Jackson, Mississippi, are investigating a shooting that happened on Friday morning. The incident began at about 6:30am at the Motel 6 off Interstate 55 and ended at the Pines Apartments on Watkins Drive, police said.
Police say they received a call from Alton Lindsey, who said a man walked up to him while he was at his truck at the motel and asked for a cigarette. Lindsey told him he didn't have one, according to Jackson Police Department spokeswoman Colendula Green.
"As the unknown male walked away, he turned around and pointed a weapon toward the complainant and advised the complainant that he bet he did not have that, which he was directing toward the weapon he was holding in his hand," Green said. At that point Lindsey pulled out his weapon and began firing shots.
"He pulled a gun on him and my boss pulled his little pistol out and I guess he shot him in the chest," said Lindsey's coworker, Christopher Atwood, who was also staying at the motel. The man then drove off and police caught up with him at the apartment complex, investigators said. The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where police said he was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Man arrested after mistaking car for alien spaceship

An Arizona man was arrested after police say he followed a couple around Bryant harassing and threatening them because he thought the car was a spaceship and the driver was an alien. The driver of the car was nervous enough to call police and feel threatened to the point he considered the concealed carry weapon he had with him.
The man arrested was James Bushart, 44. When police stopped Bushart, he was found with meth, a pipe used to smoke meth and charged with DWI and Disorderly Conduct. According to the police report, the officer conducting the traffic stop and field sobriety test says he was shaky and talking to himself throughout.
What the victim, Jay Ward, seems to think caused the problem was the car he was driving; a Plymouth Prowler. He says Bushart followed he and his girlfriend around Bryant, at one point pulling in front of them at a stop, all the while making threatening gestures and demanding the "alien take his spaceship back to where they came from." "That was my biggest problem with what was going on was how upset he was. I guess in reference to the vehicle was the only thing I could think," Jay explained.

"I was a little upset about that mostly because I also had a passenger with me that was concerned for her safety as well." According to the police report Bushart claimed he was curious about the car because "it looked like a futuristic machine." At one point he also told police that "he was a very big deal and had 100,000 Asian flowers." The victim here says he's glad it didn't escalate any more than having to call police.

Man arrested for setting his truck on fire after it became stuck in mud

A Texas man was arrested on Wednesday for arson of a vehicle after he allegedly set his own truck on fire after it became stuck in the mud in a farmer’s field.
Jack Austin, 49, was driving his Ford Ranger through a field in Downsville in the early morning hours of May 19 when it became stuck, said McLennan County Sheriff’s Detective Joseph Scaramucci. Austin then left on foot and stole a backhoe from a construction store down the road, Scaramucci said.
He reportedly drove the backhoe down to get his truck, cutting a fence and then the backhoe got stuck in the mud. Austin walked back over to the truck, covered it in gas and set it on fire, according to Scaramucci. He reportedly told officers he was high on methamphetamine at the time of the incident.
“It’s not illegal to light your own truck on fire, but it is illegal light your truck on fire on someone else’s property,” Scaramucci said. “Especially if you’re reckless about whether or not it will cause damage to someone else’s property.” Austin was arrested and later released from McLennan County Jail on a $75,000 bond. Scaramucci said additional charges may be filed, pending further investigation.

Man blamed theft of neighbor's underwear on diet pills, marijuana, alcohol, and Red Bull

Detectives have arrested a Florida man who accessed his neighbor's adjoining apartment through the ceiling to steal items. 33-year-old Michael Hearns has been charged with burglary.
According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, victim Jennifer Lopez, not the celebrity, and her son heard sounds coming from the attic in their Bradenton apartment last week and later noticed tools and undergarments missing.
The son also noticed neighbor Hearns on his balcony shaking dust off himself. Lopez then called the sheriff's office. Investigators contacted Hearns, where he admitted to climbing through the attic and taking whatever he could reach through the ceiling.
Hearns also admitted that he crashed through his own ceiling upon returning to his apartment. He blamed the incident on diet pills, marijuana, alcohol, and Red Bull, but admits he knew what he was doing was wrong.

Retro Photos

Street Food vs Restaurant Food

Getting your kabob on wheels is just as safe -- or safer -- as buying it at the kabob shop, suggests a survey of safety inspections in major cities.

Cold and Brown Fat

Long-term mild cold exposure can stimulate brown fat growth and […]

The Gory New York City Riot that Shaped American Medicine

Medical doctors didn’t always get the respect they do today, because today they undergo many years of expensive and difficult training and then go on to save lives and/or make us feel better. Neither was the case a couple of hundred years ago. Oh sure, there were some very educated physicians, but many doctors in training were seen as not much more than grave robbers.
In the closing years of the 18th century, New York was home to only one medical school: Columbia College. At the time, those looking to practice medicine didn’t have to graduate from a professional school, and this led to some students attending private, not-for-credit classes at New York Hospital, taught by Richard Bayley, a Connecticut-born doctor who had studied in London with the famous Scottish surgeon John Hunter. Anatomical dissections were a central component of these classes, and medical training in general, but they were offensive, even seen as sacrilegious, to early New Yorkers. In the winter of 1788, the city was abuzz with newspaper stories about medical students robbing graves to get bodies for dissection, mostly from the potter’s field and the cemetery reserved for the city’s blacks, known as the Negroes Burial Ground. While some of those reports may have been based on rumor, they pointed to an underlying truth: with no regulated source of bodies for dissection, the medical students had taken matters into their hands and begun plundering the local graveyards.
The riot that ensued led to the deaths of up to 20 people. And it wasn’t the only one, as people in other cities were fed up with medical training that involved stolen corpses. Read about the riot, and the reforms that followed, at Smithsonian.

Health News

A California study found that pregnant women who live near farms where pesticides are applied had a two-thirds higher risk of having children with autism.
We all know booze is bad for unborn babies, but does that really mean NO alcohol at all? Tara explains why it's better to be safe than sorry.



Images Of The Medieval City

What did medieval cities look like? Or more precisely, how did medieval people depict cities? Here are 15 images from the Middle Ages that show how the urban world looked like.

A Mysterious Law That Predicts The Size Of The World's Biggest Cities

Back in 1949, American linguist George Kingsley Zipf noticed something odd about how often people use words in a given language. If he ranked the words in order of popularity, a striking pattern emerged. The number one ranked word was always used twice as often as the second rank word, and three times as often as the third rank. He called this a rank vs. frequency rule, and found that it could also be used to describe income distributions in any given country, with the richest person making twice as much money as the next richest, and so forth.
Later dubbed Zipf's law, the rank vs. frequency rule also works if you apply it to the sizes of cities. The city with the largest population in any country is generally twice as large as the next-biggest, and so on. Incredibly, Zipf's law for cities has held true for every country in the world, for the past century.

The Depressing Industrial City Of Norilsk

Norilsk is an industrial city located in Krasnoyarsk Krai, in Russia, with a population of 170,000. Norilsk is almost cut off from the world. The only way to leave Norilsk is to travel 2,000 km down the Yenisei River or by air.
The city was founded in 1935, as a slave labor camp, and later as a settlement for those working in mining and metallurgic operation. Norilsk contains the world's largest heavy metals smelting complex, producing more than 20 percent of the world's nickel, 50 percent of its palladium, more than 10 percent of its cobalt, and 3 percent of its copper.

The Magnificent Wreck Of SS American Star

When SS American Star ran aground off Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands in 1994, the magnificent ocean liner, which was once hailed the most beautiful ship ever to fly the US flag, quickly became one of the world's most recognizable shipwrecks.

China’s Supercaves

Southern China has the world’s largest area of karst topography, where you’ll find hundreds of huge caves. Caver Andy Eavis first explored the caves of China in 1982. He went back in 2013, with a team of cavers from all over the world armed with the latest technology in order to map the caves of Guilin in the Guangxi region of southern China, including some of the biggest underground chambers in the world. Read about the laser-scanning expedition at National Geographic.
Then take a look through the caves yourself, with the 3D model created from the team’s laser scan.

North Pole Drift

The North Pole is moving. Not the geographic axis around which Earth spins, of course, but rather its magnetic pole, the north end of which is slowly but steadily wandering across the Arctic Ocean toward Siberia.

Martian Dust

New type of dust in Martian atmosphere discovered

A group of French and Russian scientists has discovered a […]

Daily Comic Relief


Man who needed 80 stitches after trying to move alligator from road says he's learned his lesson

A man left needing 80 stitches after he and two friends tried to tackle an 11-foot alligator which was blocking a road in Sulphur, Louisiana, says he's learned his lesson.
"I've always been the kind of guy who learns the hard way," said Glen Bonin. Bonin and three of his friends tried to move the alligator out of the way on Prater Road just south of Sulphur.
Raw footage.

"(We) took our shirts off, threw it on his (the gator's) face, and we were going to come from behind it and jump on it... in the process of doing that, it spun around and grabbed my hand seconds before we jumped on it," Bonin said. The alligator then snapped at Bonin, biting his hand and sending him into a daze.
News video.

"It felt like someone was pulling my arm out. I thought I was about to lose something. It felt like it lasted forever," Bonin said. "Hopefully with therapy I'll be able to straighten out my ring finger and pinky a little bit," Bonin added. Officials with the enforcement division of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries stress that if you come into contact with an alligator or any wildlife, do not try to handle it on your own. Instead, call local law enforcement or the local LDWF office.

'Pocket Sauropods'

Sauropods are best known for being the largest dinosaurs ever to roam Earth. But a new study of these ancient creatures focuses on a surprising fact: Some sauropods were actually quite small.
The conclusion is based on the discovery of the fossil remains of the smaller-than-average sauropod dubbed Europasaurus holgeri in 2006 in a quarry in northern Germany.The specimens were approximately 20 feet (6 meters) long and are believed to have supported dinosaurs weighing less than a ton each. While these dimensions may seem large by today's standards — the animals were bigger than the average horse — they belonged to animals that were significantly smaller than other sauropods.
Scientists originally thought the fossils may have belonged to juvenile dinosaurs. But the new study determined that the fossils actually belonged to adult dwarf dinosaurs, said lead researcher Martin Sander, a professor of vertebrate paleontology at the Steinmann Institute of Geology, Mineralogy and Paleontology at the University of Bonn in Germany.
The dwarfism exhibited in this rare discovery of sauropod fossils is a result of what's known as island or insular dwarfism. This gradual shrinking of a large species over several generations has also affected other animals — like elephants and hippopotamuses — living in isolated and cramped quarters.
This particular group of sauropods, Europasaurus holgeri, lived about 150 million years ago in what is now Europe. But during the Late Jurassic period, Europe was submerged in a shallow sea, and most of the animals that lived there inhabited small islands. Over time, Europasaurus evolved to better survive in its island habitat by shrinking, the researchers said.
To make their case, the researchers focused on the details of the anatomy of these diminutive dinosaur specimens. They found that, in the case of Europasaurus, two different sizes of dwarf dinosaurs — a small dwarf and a large dwarf — evolved during the Late Jurassic, Sander told Live Science in an email.
"Bone microstructure tells us that the largest of the two kinds of Europasaurus was fully grown," Sander said. "To find this out, we had to grind samples of Europasaurus bones into thin slices, about one-twentieth of a millimeter in thickness."
At this thickness, Sander explained, the bone becomes translucent and can be studied with a microscope, allowing researchers to examine the bones' microstructure. The researchers also examined the shapes of the skull bones to determine each specimen's morphological ontogenetic stage (MOS), or where that animal is over the course of its development.
Sander said both the MOS and the specimen's microstructure help researchers determine how old a dinosaur was when it died.
Once the researchers determined that the specimens they were studying did, indeed, belong to the dwarf dinosaur Europasaurus and not juvenile sauropods, one important question remained: How did Europasaurus get so small?
"To be a dwarf as a dinosaur, your ancestors have to have been giants," Sander said. "In the case of Europasaurus, this is not difficult to check because, with very few exceptions, all of those long-necked sauropods were giants. The question then becomes how to shrink your dinosaur."
Sander said there were two ways dinosaurs could shrink over the course of evolution: Either a dinosaur could stop growing earlier than its ancestor — after five years instead of 20, for instance — or a dinosaur could grow for the same time period (say 20 years), but did so more slowly, at half the speed.
In both cases, a dinosaur would end up being significantly smaller than its ancestor, Sander said. In the case of Europasaurus, both processes seem to have been at work. However, his team was not able to determine which process was dominant.
Another mystery left unresolved by the University of Bonn study is that of the origins of the two different "forms" of Europasaurus — what Sander refers to as "a small dwarf and a large dwarf." These two sizes of Europasaurus could represent an instance of sexual dimorphism, Sander said, in which males and females of the species are formed or sized differently. However, scientists aren't ruling out another possibility: that the fossils from the 2006 discovery represent two distinct Europasaurus species, separated either by time or by distance.
The study was published recently in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology.

Why Do Koalas Hug Trees?

Everyone has seen a picture like this at least once, sometimes in a random way. The koala leans forward and in an almost loving way, hugs the tree trunk.
Have you ever wondered why does this happen though? Scientists, led by researchers from the University of Melbourne have discovered the reasoning behind this unusual hugging act of these cute animals.

Animal News

More shark attacks are predicted this summer, but there are strategies to avoiding becoming shark bait.
We finally know a bit more about why chimps will chip in together on large tasks.
An oil company headquartered in London, has pledged to stop plumbing for oil in Virunga National Park, home of endangered mountain gorillas.
A study of thousands of blacklegged ticks showed that the tiny arachnids would more often than expected deliver two diseases at once.
Sure, we're all in love with the cuddly, takin'-it-easy sloths of today, but what did they look like in a land far, far back in time?

Animal Pictures