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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.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Daily Drift

We know this from experiencing the hate from the truth deniers ...!
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For those interested: In World Cup play Germany bested Argentina 1-0 to take first place in the tourney.

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Today in History

1223 In France, Louis VIII succeeds his father, Philip Augustus.
1430 Joan of Arc, taken prisoner by the Burgundians in May, is handed over to Pierre Cauchon, the bishop of Beauvais.
1456 Hungarians defeat the Ottomans at the Battle of Belgrade, in present-day Yugoslavia.
1536 France and Portugal sign the Treaty of Lyons, aligning themselves against Spain.
1789 The Bastille, a fortress in Paris used to hold political prisoners, is stormed by a mob.
1798 The Sedition Act is passed by the U.S. Congress.
1864 At Harrisburg, Mississippi, Federal troops under General Andrew Jackson Smith repulse an attack by General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
1900 European Allies retake Tientsin, China, from the rebelling Boxers.
1933 Nazi Germany promulgates the Law for the Protection of Hereditary Health–the begining of the Euthanasia program.
1940 A force of German bombers attacks Suez, Egypt, from bases in Crete.
1941 Vichy French Foreign Legionaries sign an armistice in Damascus, allowing them to join the Free French Foreign Legion.
1945 American battleships and cruisers bombard the Japanese home islands for the first time.
1951 The George Washington Carver National Monument in Joplin, Missouri becomes the first national park honoring an African American.
1964 The United States sends 600 more troops to Vietnam.

Non Sequitur


Oldest European fort in the inland US discovered in Appalachians

Oldest European fort in the inland US discovered in Appalachians
The remains of the earliest European fort in the interior of what is now the United States have been discovered by a team of archaeologists, providing new insight into the start of the U.S. colonial era and the all-too-human reasons spoiling Spanish dreams of gold and glory. Spanish Captain Juan Pardo and his men built Fort San Juan in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in 1567, nearly 20 years before Sir Walter Raleigh’s “lost colony” at Roanoke and 40 years before the Jamestown settlement established England’s presence in the region.
“Fort San Juan and six others that together stretched from coastal South Carolina into eastern Tennessee were occupied for less than 18 months before theNative Americans destroyed them, killing all but one of the Spanish soldiers who manned the garrisons,” said University of Michigan archaeologist Robin Beck.
Beck, an assistant professor in the U-M Department of Anthropology and assistant curator at the U-M Museum of Anthropology, is working with archaeologists Christopher Rodning of Tulane University and David Moore of Warren Wilson College to excavate the site near the city of Morganton in western North Carolina, nearly 300 miles from the Atlantic Coast.
The Berry site, named in honor of the stewardship of landowners James and the late Pat Berry, is located along a tributary of the Catawba River and was the location of the Native American town of Joara, part of the mound-building Mississippian culture that flourished in the southeastern U.S. between 800 and about 1500 CE.
In 2004, with support from the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation, Beck and his colleagues began excavating several of the houses occupied by Spanish soldiers at Joara, where Pardo built Fort San Juan. Pardo named this small colony of Spanish houses Cuenca, after his own hometown in Spain. Yet the remains of the fort itself eluded discovery until last month.
“We have known for more than a decade where the Spanish soldiers were living,” Rodning said. “This summer we were trying to learn more about the Mississippian mound at Berry, one that was built by the people of Joara, and instead we discovered part of the fort. For all of us, it was an incredible moment.”
Using a combination of large-scale excavations and geophysical techniques like magnetometry, which provides x-ray-like images of what lies below the surface, the archaeologists have now been able to identify sections of the fort’s defensive moat or ditch, a likely corner bastion and a graveled surface that formed an entryway to the garrison.
Credit : University of Michegan 
Excavations in the moat conducted in late June reveal it to have been a large V-shaped feature measuring 5.5 feet deep and 15 feet across. Spanish artifacts recovered this summer include iron nails and tacks, Spanish majolica pottery, and an iron clothing hook of the sort used for fastening doublets and attaching sword scabbards to belts.
Fort San Juan was the first and largest of the garrisons that Pardo founded as part of an ambitious effort to colonize the American South. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, who had established the Spanish colonies of St. Augustine and Santa Elena in 1565 and 1566, respectively, spearheaded this effort. Of the six garrisons that Pardo built, Fort San Juan is the only one to have been discovered by archaeologists.
During the brief time the Spaniards were at Joara, Beck says, they were actively prospecting for gold but never found it. Yet the gold was there: in the early 1800s, American settlers found so much just lying on the surface near rivers that a 17-pound gold nugget was used as a doorstop and a U.S. mint was established in Charlotte, triggering the first gold rush in U.S. history.
Had the people of Joara given Pardo’s soldiers more time to discover this gold, Spain would probably have launched a full-scale colonial invasion of the area, England would have had difficulty establishing its foothold at Jamestown, and the entire southeastern part of what is now the U.S. might instead have become part of Latin America.
Why did the Mississipians wipe the Spaniards out so quickly? Beck and colleagues argue that originally, the Spanish bartered with the natives for food.
“The soldiers believed that when their gifts were accepted, it meant that the native people were their subjects,” Beck said. “But to the natives, it was simply an exchange. When the soldiers ran out of gifts, they expected the natives to keep on feeding them. By that time, they had also committed what Spanish documents refer to as “indiscretions” with native women, which may have been another reason that native men decided they had to go. So food and sex were probably two of the main reasons for destroying Spanish settlements and forts.”
Moore said the significance of Fort San Juan extends far beyond the Carolina Piedmont.
“The events at Fort San Juan represent a microcosm of the colonial experience across the continent,” he said. “Spain’s failure created an opening that England exploited at Jamestown in 1607, when America’s familiar frontier narrative begins. For Native Americans, though, this was the beginning of a long-term and often tragic reshaping of their precolonial world.”

Wingnuts On Supreme Court Lied and Immediately Violated Their Hobby Lobby Ruling

Since the justices on the Supreme Court are above the law, and ethics requirements every other judge in the nation are held to, it is not surprising they violated the law …
Americans have been led to believe that of all the institutions in government, they can depend on honesty from the members of the highest court in the land. However, since the justices on the Supreme Court are above the law, and ethics requirements every other judge in the nation are held to, it is not surprising the conservatives on the Court lied and immediately violated their own ruling to fit their religious worldview.
Supreme_Court.jpgIn the Hobby Lobby ruling, Justice Samuel Alito stated the ruling was narrow in scope, and “should” only apply to religious corporations opposed to certain forms of birth control. That sentiment lasted less than twenty-four hours until the High Court quietly ordered all lower courts to rehear any cases in which private for-profit religious companies sought to deny coverage for any type of contraception; not just the specific types Hobby Lobby was opposed to because in their religious minds, they are abortion.
Under the Affordable Care Act, there are 20 forms of contraception that were required to be covered as preventive services and necessary to women’s health. Although the Court did not dispute the science, or a compelling need for women’s health, they agreed with Holy Hobby Lobby that Plan B, Ella, and two types of IUD were abortion and violated the corporate religious principles. Justice Samuel Alito, in writing for the majority, used several questionable qualifiers he claimed limited the ruling’s scope, but the very next day they issued a series of orders contradicting the “narrow interpretation” of the decision.
The Justices vacated two separate decisions by the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Autocam Corp. v. Burwell and Eden Foods v. Burwell, and ordered the appeals court to rehear the cases and issue rulings in accordance with the catholics’ Hobby Lobby decision. The Sixth Circuit rejected requests from catholic-owned businesses that demanded exemptions because catholicism considers artificial birth control abortion and is therefore a sin against god. The Court also ordered the District of Columbia Appeals Court to reopen a similar case, Gilardi v. Department of Health & Human Services, and waste taxpayer money because “the wingnut justices endorsed the idea that religious objections to insurance that covers any form of preventative healthcare for women have merit” according to catholic cult doctrine.
It is relevant to note that the five male wingnuts, who agreed with Hobby Lobby, as catholics believe that any form of “unnatural birth control” is abortion. This is despite all known medical science, and fundamental common sense to the contrary. The Court’s catholics rejected claims filed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and several other medical associations that “there is no scientific evidence that contraceptives, emergency or otherwise, available in the United States and approved by the FDA affect an existing pregnancy. Instead, they prevent ovulation, so there is no egg to fertilize, and no egg, like no implantation, means no pregnancy and no abortion.” But that is medical science and the cult speaks for god and catholics have the documentation to prove it.
According to the catholic humanae vitae (n.14 [3]) and not the christian bible, the cult holds that “any unnatural or artificial means of birth control are immoral, blameworthy, sinful, and violate god’s law because they are abortion.” The catholics also claim that at one time all protestant religions in the world obeyed catholic dogmata regarding “unnatural birth control” and they are on a crusade to rein in all protestant denominations to dutifully adhere to cult doctrine; precisely as the High Court’s wingnuts intended.
There is nothing that will sway catholics from their belief that as religious rulers, when they say no contraceptives, they mean no contraceptives; even if they are provided by a third party at no cost to catholics. For example, Notre Dame was given an exemption from providing contraception coverage in health plans, and the cost of providing them was shifted to a third-party to completely isolate the catholic University from dealing with, or providing, contraception. It was not enough for the catholics and they argued that it was immoral for a third party outside administrator to provide the objectionable coverage they regard as abortion. The Seventh Circuit Appellate Court denied Notre Dame’s demand to, as Judge Richard A. Posner wrote, “Forbid any insurer and plan administrator from providing any contraceptive coverage to Notre Dame staff or students.”
Notre Dame is appealing the ruling to the High Court because now that the wingnuts ruled according to catholic dogma, they will get the ruling, and control over students and staff, they demand. A spokesman for the catholics said, “Our concern remains that if government is allowed to entangle a religious institution of higher education like Notre Dame in one area contrary to conscience, it’s given license to do so in others.” Many Americans’ concern is that if catholics are allowed to enforce their birth control dogma contrary to women’s conscience’s regarding their own reproductive health, it will take license to do so in others. The catholics are already attempting to take license to discriminate against hiring gays or employees that do not share the employers’ faith.
Interestingly, according to the Guttmacher Institute, in 2011 98% of self-identified catholic women of reproductive age (15-44) have used a method of contraception other than natural family planning at some point during their reproductive lives making them sinners in the eyes of the catholic cult. Further, 88% of catholic women are currently using contraceptives the catholics consider unnatural, sinful, immoral, murder, and a violation of god’s catholic doctrine. Now that the catholics reined in southern baptists, pentecostals, and other evangelical fundamentalists, the five wingnuts on the High Court increased the chances their crusade to ban contraceptive use in America is one step closer to realization.
As Americans are witnessing, regardless what Alito and the other wingnut catholic justices claimed, their decision set a deliberate precedent the religio-wingnutst and United States coven of catholic bishops (USCCB) will use to affect the change cult dogma demands. Besides giving lower courts permission to expand their logic in the Hobby Lobby decision, they immediately broadened their decision’s scope by ordering other appeals courts to rehear and reopen (rule according to catholicism) prior cases to issue the correct (catholic) ruling. The Supreme Court’s wingnuts are doing precisely what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg predicted in her dissent noting the logic in Alito’s decision went far beyond the limited scope the conservatives claimed. When she wrote that, “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield,” she misread the intent of the wingnuts.  They did not randomly “venture into a minefield,” they planted the mines and opened the floodgates for catholics and the religio-wingnut cohort to do what they yearned after all along; ban contraceptives and put an end to married and single women alike from having “consequence free sex.”
For centuries, the catholic cult ruled the so-called 'christian' world unchallenged until England’s King Henry VIII broke the cycle of religious tyranny when he informed the Pope in Rome that his authority ended at England’s borders. Unfortunately for American women, and soon the gay community, there is no King Henry to hold the catholic cult in check. Now that the wingnut court empowered the cult to define contraceptives as murder and abortion, the repugican cabal gained a powerful ally in their war on women. With assistance from the religio-wingnuts, catholics are a step closer to impose personhood on a zygote and ban contraceptives they, and papal (non)supremacy, regard as murder.

Fast-food CEO making 291 times minimum wage opposes increases, blames Obamacare

A multimillionaire fast-food CEO on Monday cited President Barack Obama's health care reform law as a reason not to raise the minimum wage, and asserted that increases would only hurt low-wage employees.According to Forbes, CKE restaurants CEO Andy Puzder makes 291 times more than the minimum wage employees at fast-food chains Hardees and Carl's Jr., which are owned by his company, but he told Yahoo! Finance on Monday that his opposition to pay hikes was only about the welfare of the workers.
"I just want to make sure people understand the consequences of raising the minimum wage, which is… youth unemployment, and increased prices, and more automation," Puzder explained. "Labor participation for people 16 to 29 years old is plummeting, and it's plummeting because we're pricing them out of the market with these minimum wage increases, and there are experienced workers who are willing to take the jobs because they've had their hours cut to under 30 [hours per week] because of Obamacare."
Yahoo! host Shibani Joshi noted that surveys had shown that the median age of fast-food employees was 29, and more than half of the workers were forced to use welfare programs.

Man with Bentley logo tattooed across his forehead arrested for identity theft

A Florida man with the Bentley car logo tattooed across his forehead has been charged with identity theft. He also has a shark tattooed on his face and works at a shoe store.
Federal prosecutors say Derek Denesevich, 26, of Lauderhill, liked to pretend to be other people by stealing their identities and using them to make money by filing fraudulent income tax returns.

Denesevich appeared in court on Wednesday to face federal identity theft charges. He paid a former Broward Clerk of Courts employee to misuse her position and steal drivers' identities, according to court records. Denesevich is charged with aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to possess unauthorized access devices.
According to court records, he is co-operating with the investigation of a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme that prosecutors said he operated. He is scheduled to return to federal court in Fort Lauderdale on Monday to either plead guilty or not guilty. If convicted, he faces a maximum of seven years in federal prison.

The truth be told


Ten Reasons Not to Trust Your Memory

Have you ever read an interesting story, noticed an attractive design or heard about a brilliant concept for a new invention and then later "originated" it, mentally patting yourself on the back for your bright idea? It happens to the best of us. George Harrison, former Beatle, for example. Whether or not you need one more reason not to trust your memory, here are ten! You can thank me later.

Finding a way ...

Find could lead to new therapy for reducing inflammation in diseases

Molecular microbiologists from the Keck School of Medicine of USC […]

Treating Blindness & Diabetes

In a new study led by UC San Francisco (UCSF) […]

Alcohol has no benefits

New study shows drinking alcohol provides no heart health benefit

Results call into question previous studies suggesting one drink per […]



Tiki Hangover

Unearthing The Idols Of America's South Seas Fantasy
In the mid-20th century, living the Tiki lifestyle meant decorating your living room with bamboo furniture and learning the steps to native dances, while cultivating a taste for exotic foods and sweet rum cocktails. At its heart, American Tiki worship reflected a longing for life outside the stressful confines of urban America and a desire to connect with the majesty of nature.
Today, the Tiki trend is viewed as pure mid-century kitsch, like the maraschino cherry on your happy-hour Mai Tai. But Americans haven't lost their lust for the tropical lifestyle, as evidenced by Hawaii's multibillion-dollar tourism industry. Collectors Weekly spoke with Sven Kirsten, the author of 'Tiki Pop,' about the origins of the Tiki trend and its lasting impact on American culture.

America's Vanishing Bowling Alleys

The U.S. had 4,061 bowling centers in 2012, down 25 percent from 1998, the earliest year for which the U.S. Census collected consistent data. But the decline of the bowling alley probably started a lot earlier.
The U.S. added 2,000 bowling alleys between the end of World War II and 1958, when the American Society of Planning Officials reported that 'the bowling alley is fast becoming one of the most important - if not the most important - local center of participant sport and recreation.' As the workforce changed and access to other recreational activities expanded, interest in bowling leagues waned.

51 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Los Angeles

Living in Southern California means living in the shadow of Los Angeles, or more precisely Hollywood.
Friends and family from other states inevitably ask you about L.A. when you live in SoCal, and they somehow assume we all know famous people, probably because if you live here long enough that whole "six degrees of separation" thing rings true.
Living in La La Land is a delightfully surreal experience, a surprisingly mundane experience, and a frustrating experience all rolled up in days of sunshine, traffic and movie star sightings.
It's surprising how little those who live in L.A. know about the city, and as a descendant of four generations of Angelenos I was surprised to find that many of the facts on BuzzFeed's 51 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Los Angeles were news to me! Read on and discover what lies beneath the glitz and glamor of Tinseltown.

Dynamic Periodic Table

Many other periodic tables use the word interactive to describe themselves while offering nothing more than links to pages of data about elements. Pages of data are fine, and Ptable outsources these write-ups to others like Wikipedia and WebElements through the dropdown in the first tab.
Ptable shines when used as a true application, more interactive and dynamic than any standalone software. Click on each element to learn more about its history, characteristics, chemical properties and occurrence.

The Skocjan Caves

In Slovenia:
Often referred to as the “Underground Grand Canyon,” the Eastern European cave system features one of the largest subterranean chambers in the world. The largest room in the limestone cave network, known as “Martel’s Chamber,” is a gaping canyon which was formed by the underground flow of the Reka river, which still rushes along the bottom of the chasm. Thanks to the amount of water that flows through the canyon, the caves also hold a number of eye-catching geological features such as limestone pools and giant stalagmite formations. The cave’s unique spaciousness also hosts a number of species of bat, countless unique bio-organisms, and even a variety of fish that has never seen the light of day. A bridge has also been built, spanning the chasm so that visitors can experience the colossal geologic divide.

Random Photos


at Beartooth Highway, MT

Cosmic Mystery Solved

The supernova mechanism behind cosmic dust formation has been a mystery, but now astronomers have the answer.

The Most Distant Stars

The boundaries of our home galaxy may have to be redrawn. 

Stripping Pandora

A decade-long study tracking the intricate motions of Saturn’s ring moons shows that Pandora, located just outside the F Ring, actually is not gravitationally herding the narrow ring’s outer edge.

Europa's Red Veins

In a newly released image of Jupiter's moon Europa, its frozen, cracked surface has been revealed in breathtaking color.

A Stand of Pearls

Hubble Spots Spiral Bridge of Young Stars Linking Two Ancient Galaxies

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has photographed an unusual structure 100,000 […]

Daily Comic Relief


Small Plastic Big Problem

Microplastics -- tiny particles formed from the degrading of plastic trash -- are filling the planet's oceans and pose an increasing threat to marine animals.

Caring for Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are the rainforests of the ocean, slowly being destroyed. What are these colorful undersea vistas and why does it matter if they live or die? Trace offers some answers.

Electrocuting Cockroaches

Potent spider toxin ‘electrocutes’ German, not American, cockroaches

Using spider toxins to study the proteins that let nerve […]

Dinosaurs: Terrible Lizards

The name dinosaur literally translates as 'Terrible Lizard.'

Animal Pictures