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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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Daily Drift

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

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Today is  -  Spooner's Day 
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Madrid, Alicante and Nerja, Spain
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Today in History

1298 King Edward I defeats Scots under William Wallace at Falkirk.
1515 Emperor Maximillian and Vladislav of Bohemia forge an alliance between the Hapsburg and Jagiello dynasties in Vienna.
1652 Prince Conde's rebels narrowly defeat Chief Minister Mazarin's loyalist forces at St. Martin, near Paris.
1789 Thomas Jefferson becomes the first head of the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs.
1812 A British army under the Duke of Wellington defeats the French at Salamanca, Spain.
1814 Five Indian tribes in Ohio make peace with the United States and declare war on Britain.
1881 The first volume of The War of the Rebellion: A compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, is published.
1894 The first automobile race takes place between Paris and Rouen, France.
1934 American gangster John Dillinger is shot dead by FBI officers outside a Chicago cinema.
1938 The Third Reich issues special identity cards for Jewish Germans.
1943 Palermo, Sicily surrenders to General George S. Patton's Seventh Army.
1966 B-52 bombers hit the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Vietnam for the first time.

Non Sequitur


Infographic Shows How Much Underwear To Pack For A Trip

There’s one very important thing to consider when packing for a trip, whether it’s a weekend away or an extended stay, and that’s making sure you've packed enough underwear.
Good thing there’s this handy infographic created by well traveled traveler Reed Kennedy, so you can make sure your buns are covered for the entire trip.
Simply figure out how many days you’ll be away, and whether you’ll be doing any laundry while traveling, and this handy infographic will tell you how many pairs to bring along.
It may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people find themselves briefless in Seattle, a pair of boxers short in Brooklyn, or thongless in Thailand when they're trying to travel light.

Gun nut sentenced to 18 years for trying to kill Obama

Gun nut sentenced to 18 years for trying to kill Obama
A Texas actress who sent ricin-laced letters to US President Barack Obama and the New York City mayor then tried to blame the crime on her soon-to-be ex-husband has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
“After he left the house, I printed the mailing labels for President Barack Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Mark Glaze with The Raben Group,” she said in the document. At the time, Glaze was director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Bloomberg’s group advocating for tougher gun control.
The letter to Mr Obama read, “What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what ive got in store for you mr president,” according to the document. “You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face.”
After mailing the letters, she admitted to trying to blame her husband and lying to authorities.
Richardson had minor roles in the television series The Walking Dead and the movie The Blind Side. She also is the mother of six children – including one born prematurely while she was in custody.

A repugican congressman’s Press Secretary Arrested For Carrying Unlicensed Gun On Capitol Hill

From the "Why are we not surprised" and the "Typical repugican idiot" Departments:

The 2014 repubgcan Candidates Are Cut From The Same Cloth As Todd “Legitimate Rape” Aiken

Several repugican Senate candidates across the country have joined Aiken in support of zygote personhood the Supreme Court gave legitimacy in Hobby Lobby and the crusade to criminalize…

imageOne of the major problems with America is the level of ignorance about a wide range of issues plaguing a great majority of the population. However, the ignorance quotient pales in comparison to the number of Americans clinging to archaic religious mythos they demand the government imposes on the entire population. Over the past few years, there have been some truly mind-boggling assertions by repugicans, and fortunately the repugican cabal has yet to succeed in legislating religious dogmata on the nation. Unfortunately for American women, religious repugicans do not need a a reason, or scriptural basis, for a truly insane idea because the wingnut Supreme Court gave their most fantastical idea legitimacy and several repugican cabal candidates for Senate are taking advantage of it.
Two years ago failed senatorial candidate Todd Akin claimed that if a woman is “legitimately raped” the biological process differentiates between conjugal sex and legitimate rape and shuts down the reproductive process. Now, Akin is on a national book tour defending his lunacy and promoting the idea of personhood. Personhood is the absurd contention that the instant a sperm cell punctures an ovum, the resulting single-celled zygote is a person with all the Constitutional rights enumerated in the 14th Amendment. Now, several Republican Senate candidates across the country have joined Akin in support of zygote personhood the Supreme Court gave legitimacy in Hobby Lobby and the crusade to criminalize contraception and abortion begins in earnest.
Despite all known medical and biological science, when the wingnut court agreed with Hobby Lobby’s owners that sex while using contraception is abortion and considered murder, Personhood gained judicial validity. In effect, the catholic wingnuts affirmed personhood and opened the door for religious repugicans to outlaw all birth control as murder; an assertion repugican Senate candidates Cory Gardner (Colorado), Thom Tillis (N.C), Tom Cotton (Ark), Terri Lynn Land (MI), Joni Ernst (IA), and Steve Daines (Mont) all support. All of the repugicans also support banning abortion without exception, and many support making abortion a felony and banning hospitals from offering emergency contraception to rape and incest victims.
According to a spokeswoman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Regan Page, “Cory Gardner, Thom Tillis, Terri Lynn Land, and Joni Ernst are cut from the same cloth as Todd Akin and embrace the same radical positions to block birth control and roll back women’s health care rights as he does. The last thing women want is a Todd Akin representing them in the U.S. Senate; but, like Akin, Gardner, Ernst, Tillis, Land and others support policies that outlaw birth control.”
One of the measures repugicans support, besides personhood as a constitutional amendment, is a bill sponsored by Cory Gardner making abortion a class 3 felony unless the doctor made a reasonable attempt to save the fetus; the mother was expendable. Gardner also voted to ban hospitals from informing rape victims about emergency contraceptives; likely because the religio-wingnuts insist a woman does not have a right to consequence-free sex, even if it is rape.
In North Carolina, all repugican candidates, including Senate candidate Thom Tillis believe the state is authorized to ban contraception because personhood grants legal protections to fertilized human eggs. North Carolina’s repugican candidates avidly support a constitutional amendment granting personhood to a zygote. That bizarre notion is also supported by Tom Cotton (r-AR) who co-sponsored a bill in January granting full constitutional rights to a fertilized egg the moment a sperm cell punctures it. The bill, “Life at Conception Act” (H.R. 1901) declares the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being beginning at the moment of fertilization.
In Michigan, Terri Lynn Land received a ringing endorsement from the personhood movement Right to Life that required her to oppose abortion and support a “Human Life Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution. Land also opposes abortion or emergency contraception even in the case of rape or incest because a zygote is a person and blocking a zygote’s implantation and development is murder. Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst sponsored a resolution in Iowa’s Senate last December proposing a “Fetal Personhood” amendment to the Iowa Constitution to ban abortion and contraception. Another Republican Senate Candidate, Steve Daines (r-Mont) was a co-sponsor of the “Life at Conception Act” because it provides Constitutional protections to a zygote he believes is a person with rights superseding those of the real person (the mother).
The Personhood movement was a lunatic fringe just a couple of years ago, but the catholic and evangelical wingnuts have made the movement mainstream among repugicans (which is still a lunatic fringe, but let's not be picky). The Supreme Court likely gave the Personhood movement the precedent they have lusted after since the movement’s inception. Although the wingnuts did not specifically rule that life begins at the moment of conception, they did the next best thing by siding with Hobby Lobby’s religious belief that interrupting fetal development is abortion and murder. What is still a damning incrimination of the wingnuts on the Court, is their holding that even though contraceptives prevent ovulation, they are still an abortion.
This bizarre catholic and evangelical idea that a fertilized egg is a person has no foundation in the christian bible; it is a catholic construct to control women and force them to pay the consequences for having sex; even if it is rape sex. According to the god of the bible, a fetus is not a living being until it breathes air, but that concept does not allow the religious to control women’s sexuality. Banning contraceptives and abortion does, and that is the impetus for the Personhood movement that began when catholics began a crusade to ban all forms of “unnatural birth control” cult dogma defines as a sin akin to murder.
If any American woman, even catholics and protestant devotees, were skeptical that their reproductive health choices were under attack from repugicans before Hobby Lobby, they now have clarity. Because now that the lunatic fringe in the likes of Todd Akin is the repugican mainstream, if they thought one religious freak in the Senate was a frightening prospect, they should shudder at the future if repugicans gain control of the Senate. A much worse scenario is a bible-belt state passing Personhood legislation that gets challenged in the courts and appealed to the Supreme Court, because the 5 catholic wingnuts have already revealed they base their decisions on catholic dogma, not the Constitution.
It is important to remember that the High Court read the amicus brief from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and several medical associations that stated “there is no scientific evidence that contraceptives 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.” That is contrary to catholic dogma and Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs and the 5 wingnut Justices rejected the medical science out of hand.
American women have faced overwhelming onslaughts on their rights throughout the nation’s history, and although they made some gains, repugicans are intent on sending them into perpetual childbirth. The repugicans need a few victories to take control of the Senate, and if they do there is precious little to prevent them from unleashing Hell on women’s rights. Don’t believe it? Three days ago the Senate majority Democrats tried, and failed, to undo the contraception part of the Hobby Lobby ruling and even if they had been successful, religious House repugicans would never let a Hobby Lobby fix come up for a vote.
America’s women are being attacked from several fronts and what is still puzzling is no-one is willing to cite the source of the assault; religious extremism. The Personhood movement is no longer an extremist fringe and with full support from repugicans, the only hope to stave off bans on abortion and contraception is turning out en masse to defeat repugicans in November.
If repugican women think they are immune from the religio-wingnuts' attacks, they are hopelessly deluded because catholic and evangelical wingnut leaders, the Personhood movement, Supreme Court, and repugicans in Congress and state legislatures are Hell-bent on using religion to “trump women’s right to consequence-free sex.” Tragically they have the numbers, funding, and religious fervor to get what they have wanted for decades; total control over America’s women because that is what the repugican religious war on women is about.

Darrell Issa Begs President Obama To Send Adviser To Testify At Hearing

Darrell IssaDarrell Issa is getting desperate. He sent a letter to the White House offering to give administration adviser David Simas a second chance to testify after the Obama administration told the California repugican that Simas has executive branch immunity.
In his letter to White House Counsel Neil Eggleston, Issa wrote, “Mr. Simas’ failure to appear, despite having been compelled to do so by a lawfully issued subpoena, was contumacious, and the Committee is prepared to enforce its subpoena. In light of the White House’s apparent need to further consider the Miers opinion, and in recognition of our mutual interest in resolving this matter in a manner consistent with the guidance contained therein, I am prepared to give Mr. Simas a second chance to appear …. I urge the President to reconsider and to act in a manner consistent with the Constitution and the Court’s ruling in Miers by directing Mr. Simas to appear before the Committee pursuant to the subpoena that remains in effect. If the President has a legitimate concern that Mr. Simas’ responses to specific Committee questions will implicate matters protected by the presidential communications privilege, he may instruct Mr. Simas to assert that or another valid testimonial privilege, in response to specific questions, consistent with the Miers opinion.”
The problem, as the White House pointed out when they notified Rep. Issa that Simas would not be appearing, is that the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee has not presented any evidence that a crime was committed. Issa doesn’t have a shred of evidence to back up his accusation that the administration has violated the Hatch Act by using taxpayer funds for political activity.
On Wednesday, Issa quickly ended his hearing after Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) played a devastating video of Issa promising to hold votes on controversial subpoenas when he took over the Oversight Committee chairmanship in 2011.
The Oversight Committee has found no evidence of wrongdoing by Simas or the new White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach (OPSO) that he directs. The truth is that Issa needs someone from the White House at his hearing, or else he has nothing. Issa wanted Simas to testify because he is on a fishing expedition. He has already claimed that Obama violated the Hatch Act, now he is looking for something that he can use as evidence.
Without the testimony of Simas, Issa can’t get the media attention that he is desperately craving. Ever since Speaker Boehner took Benghazi away from him, Issa has been trolling the waters trying to find a new Obama scandal to hang his fame on.
The White House isn’t playing along. They have shut Issa’s little con down, and the desperate repugican is virtually begging them to help him recover his lost limelight.

A Border Wall Is a Monument to the Intellectual Bankruptcy of the repugican cabal

O'Really wants the Berlin Wall, but people went over that wall by zip line, tightrope and hot air balloons just for a start. …
OReilly_WallWhere the so-called “border crisis” is concerned – that is, the sudden influx of refugee children – the repugican cabal, its tea party leaders, conservative pundits, and various ethnic nationalist militias, are collectively acting like they’re in a bath tub suddenly filling with cockroaches. The “eww” factor is apparent on their faces as they cringe back in fear, all the while calling for the exterminator.
This is not the repugican cabal’s finest moment and it is difficult to see how they think their reaction, which includes demonizing innocent refugee children, is going to garner them votes either from the Latino community or from sympathetic independents.
Nor, on a practical level, are their ideas – and I use that term loosely – to remedy the crisis worthy of serious consideration. You surely remember Herman Cain’s infamous alligator-filled moat and his plan to fry Mexicans on his electrified fence as they cross the border. We’ve been entertained – and horrified – by plans to invade Mexico.
Back in June Swill O’Really advocated militarizing our border with Mexico. Getting together with Britt Hume, he chewed on the idea that “elected Democrats” 1) don’t want to militarize the border, and 2) “don’t support tough measures to keep illegal aliens out.”
Hume responded that Democrats’ “convictions fitting nicely with their politics.” He agreed with O’Really that this is because it is politically advantageous for Democrats. After all, as he pointed out, the Latino vote is “growing all the time.”
O’Really opined that “there is a strain of thought in this country that the Democratic Party actively wants chaos on the border, actively wants millions of people to come here.” Britt Hume tried to point to the legalities involved, particularly with the immigrant children bigots are making such a fuss about, but O’Really insisted on seeing this as just another layer of a Democratic conspiracy.
O’Really: You could militarize that border and you could secure that border –
Hume: Bill, suppose you militarize the border and a bunch of kids are coming across. What are you going to do? Shoot them?
O’Really: They wouldn’t get in because there’s be a wall and a barrier there.
Hume: In other words, you’d have a giant wall across our entire southern border to stop the children from coming.
O’Really: To stop everybody from coming.
Hume: I understand that. So that’s the “O’Reilly Plan.”
O’Really: I’d secure that border so you couldn’t get a jet ski and drive up and get off and walk in. Yes I would. Am I a mean guy for doing it?
On July 2, Charles Krauthammer appeared on The O’Really non-Factor and advocated a fence:
O’Really: How do you secure the border, Charles?
Krauthammer: Alright, here’s what I’ve been on for years. You start with a fence. It’s very simple. People say, ‘Oh, fences don’t work. You make a ladder.’ Well, then you build two fences, triple strand fences. San Diego did that in the mid 90′s and within a decade, the illegal immigration rate at that point was reduced by 90% and people ended up going through other places like Arizona.
If fences don’t work, why is there one around the White House? If they don’t work, why is it that the Israeli fence which separate Israel from the West Bank has cut down terror attacks within Israel by 99%. Fences work. Yes, there are parts of the border where you can’t have a fence, fine. So you don’t have it in those areas and you do heavy patrols. But there is no reason why a rich country like us cannot put a fence across — a double fence, a triple fence and patrol it all the time. That would have a tremendous impact.
Laura Ingraham, appearing on the same episode, agreed with Krauthammer:
I think Krauthammer is right, we need a wall and/or a fence in the places along the border that that is practical. We have to absolutely have that in place.
She also had her own plan:
Ingraham: OK, first thing you do is start deporting people — not by the hundreds, not by the dozens. By the thousands. And that means entire families. Not just a father, a mother. But we keep families unified by deporting all people who are are here illegally, that’s number one.
Ingraham: Number two, we have to stop visas and stop foreign aid to countries who will not repatriate the citizens of those countries that left and came to our country illegally. We’re seeing this with Guatemala, [El] Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, some of the South American countries. If they don’t agree to repatriate their citizens back home and stop sending signals, implicitly, explicitly, that people should come here, then they get no foreign aid, we stop all visas from those countries coming in. This is a crisis, and we have to deal with it in a serious way.
Number three, I think there has to be an end to this thing called birthright citizenship. Some people call it anchor babies. But this is not required by our Constitution, it doesn’t require a constitutional amendment. Harry Reid was for this about 15, 16 years ago. He went on the Senate floor and proclaimed that we should end birthright citizenship. So, that should go.
On the July 16 edition of The O’Really Factor , Swill-O entertained Karl Rove with what he styled Charles Krauthammer’s concept of the “East German border fence,” aka the Berlin Wall. O’Really said, “nobody could get through that fence. Nobody. It was a formidable obstacle.”
This is not true, of course. People DID get through that fence. They went over it by zip line, tightrope and hot air balloons just for a start. In fact, some 5,000 people escaped over, under and through the Berlin Wall, forcing the communist government to throw ever more money at it.
Let’s face it: Fences don’t even keep dogs in or out, let alone neighbor kids and intruders.
The repugican idea of a fortified border, a sort of Festung Amerika, certainly sounds imposing, but history has shown big walls don’t work. Hadrian’s Wall didn’t keep the Picts out of Roman Britain; the Great Wall of China did not protect China from either the Huns or the Mongols; the Maginot Line did not keep the Germans out of France, and neither the Atlantic Wall nor the Siegfried Line kept the Allies out of Germany. Heavily fortified cities throughout history have fallen with astonishing regularity.
As General George S. Patton is supposed to have said, “fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man.” And to the stupidity of the repugican cabal, apparently.
Another problem is that the East German fence was not built to keep people out (East Germany not exactly being a destination of choice) but to keep people in.
Yet O’Really insisted, “The Israeli’s have done the same thing,” making him wrong again, since the Israeli’s are not trying to keep people in, but out. O’Really seems to have a problem with ingress and egress, which is not surprising given his hostility toward reality in general.
O’Really concluded that “We haven’t done that on the southern border. That’s mistake number one.”
What haven’t we done? Build a fence to keep people in? Or to keep people out? Or both?
O’Really then advocated deploying the National Guard “to stop the madness just as you stopped the madness in the Rodney King riots and Hurricane Katrina and all those other things.” Since the Obama administration hasn’t done these things, O’Really concluded that there is a “dereliction of leadership here.”
To say nothing of a dereliction of clear thought on the set of The O’Really Factor.
O’Really seems to entirely miss the point that walls have to be manned and patrolled – on both sides. Does he imagine the National Guard will remain on duty forever? How does he think this wall will be funded? Or like shrub’s wars, will it not be funded at all?
I’ve seen it suggested that if we are going to deport anyone that we deport the repugican cabal. By the same token, if we are going to build a wall, we should build it around the repugican cabal. A purely symbolic wall, of course, because we know it wouldn’t keep repugicans out. They’d just start digging tunnels under it.
But there is a bright side: At least then we could point to their cantaloupe-sized calves, and laugh.

TSA employee to security theater skeptics: "You don't have shit for rights"

A person who "works for the TSA" accidentally posted a public comment to Facebook excoriating Rebecca Hains for expressing skepticism about the TSA's efficacy.
The person saw Hains's comments a friend's wall, and believed he was commenting privately to his friend, rather than publicly, and he quickly removed it. Hains captured his rant for posterity, though. It ends, "If you don't like it, shut the fuck up. The Greyhound station is around here somewhere."
I've redacted the commenter's name and identifying details because I don't want to make a scapegoat out of her/him. The issue here isn't that one TSA employee feels this way, it's that the entire organization operates as though this was its mission statement.
If Hains's name sounds familiar, that's because she's the person whose cupcake was confiscated in 2011 by the TSA because the frosting was a "gel," an event memorialized in song, baked goods, and weaselly bullshit from the TSA -- this last really drives home the point I'm trying to make here, which is that the TSA either has nothing to do with security, or it is incredibly bad at it, and that it clearly doesn't know this.



Fisherman embedded hook in rival angler's face in apparent case of rod rage

An angler in Torquay was left with a hook embedded in his cheek after a shore-based fisherman deliberately cast his line at his boat. Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident off Hopesnose at around 6.30am on Sunday, July 13. Jason Ould, who operates NJ Fisheries was mackeral fishing in his 19ft Orkney fastliner boat. It appears that the boat was deliberately targeted by a shore-based fisherman by ‘casting’ his rod in the boat's direction. The victim was struck and a large barbed hook was embedded in his left cheek. He said that the hook was weighted with a 2oz lead which could have caused a worse injury. Jason said: "If that had hit me between the eyes, that could have been very serious.
"I have a high pain threshold because I have been a fisherman all my life and I'm used to getting a hook in my hand but when it is other people putting your life in danger, it is a different story. I was very angry about it." He said that there has always been competition between sports anglers and commercial fisherman but the mood at Hope's Nose has changed recently.
He added: "It's not like it used to be and people shouldn't have to put up with these sorts of dangers." Jason said that there were a large number of shore based fisherman in the area at the time. Police are appealing to them for information to identify the offender who is believed to have left prior to police attending. Police are also advising anglers of the seriousness of such actions and the injuries that it can cause.

Teenagers robbed at knifepoint for doughnuts

Two teenage boys in Australia have told of how they queued for two hours to buy doughnuts from Adelaide’s first Krispy Kreme store, only to have them stolen at knifepoint moments later. One of the 17-year-old victims said he wanted to celebrate the start of his apprenticeship with doughnuts for his new boss and family.
When he and a friend arrived at the West Croydon store at just before 10:00pm on Wednesday, the drive-through was closed so they parked nearby. After two hours in the queue they returned to their car with six boxes of doughnuts when the thief struck. “He was pretty much saying ‘if you don’t give me the doughnuts now I’m going to stab you’,” one of the boys said. The thief took the doughnuts but did not demand anything else.
The other victim said: “It’s pretty bad, you think he’d take the money or something, but he took the doughnuts.” Police hope security video will help identify the suspect. They want any witnesses to come forward. The thief is described as a Caucasian man aged 16 to 20, about 165cm tall and wearing a black hooded jumper and black trackpants.

Doughnut chain Krispy Kreme this week opened its first South Australian chain, with some customers queuing outside for days before the opening. The store manager Mark Higginbottom believes the robbery was an isolated incident, but he will be beefing up security just in case. He has promised to replace the stolen doughnuts, but the boys say they are too frightened to revisit the store.

South African metal thieves have stolen up to 10km of working railway track

Metal thieves in the Ekurhuleni municipality in South Africa have stolen up to 10km (6 miles) of working railway track, causing about R25 million (£1.3m, $2.3m) of damage. Huge chunks of track were stolen over the course of several months from a line used to take trains from Johannesburg to a depot in the town of Nigel.
The financial effect could also threaten hundreds of jobs and force a repair depot to close its doors. A meeting was held on Monday between the municipality, rail authorities, police and the repair depot to discuss how to fix the problem, after it emerged last week that the railway line had been stolen by what appeared to be a highly professional gang of thieves.
Thumbu Mahlangu, the Ekurhuleni MMC for roads and transport, said it was too early to assess when construction would begin. “Government is taking full responsibility (for the replacement),” he said. He said they would work closely with Transnet and the carriage repair company the track serviced, the Commuter Transport and Locomotive Engineering (CTLE) depot. CTLE estimated the size of the theft to be bigger than the 5km that was initially thought to have been stolen.

“It is probably now 7km (or) 8km. Even up to 10km,” said Thembaletu Fikizolo, CTLE’s human resources executive. Ten kilometers of rail equals 960 tons of steel and an estimated R2.6 million on the scrap market. The director of a Gauteng-based railway construction company calculated it could cost up to R25m to replace 10km of track.

Beekeeper accused of stealing beeswax to support his drug habit

A Californian beekeeper has been charged with stealing nearly 200 pounds (91 kg) of beeswax from the farmer who employed him, to melt it into blocks and sell it to support his drug habit, in what local police say is their first arrest for pilfering the substance.
Karl Robert Glick from Chowchilla was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of burglary and possessing stolen property after deputies found the stolen beeswax at his home, said Erica Stuart, a spokeswoman for the Madera County Sheriff's Department.
"This is a bonafide agricultural theft," she said. Glick, 26, reportedly melted the wax into blocks so he could easily sell it, Stuart said. Investigators believe Glick may have stolen and sold wax to support his drug habit, Stuart said.
A Fresno-based company had apparently purchased the wax, which sells for about $3.20 per pound. Although deputies have investigated thefts of bee hives, this incident was the first involving beeswax in Madera County, Stuart said.

UK police captured The A-Team

Policedogs From the West Yorkshire, UK police Twitter feed

On-Line Fraud

Lost your job? Feeling depressed? Such emotion-packed situations might put you in the cross hairs of an online scammer. Tara explains.

Caftan Liberation

How An Ancient Fashion Set Modern Women Free
On Jimmy Kimmel this April, 'Mad Men' goddess Christina Hendricks declared the caftan her garment of choice, as she bestowed upon us mere mortals the delightful concept of the caftan-and-casserole party.
But where did these divine maxi dresses, that manage to both obscure and caress the body, come from? Collectors Weekly looked into the caftan's sinuous history from ancient Mesopotamia to boho chic.

Why the Nazis Never Built an Atomic Bomb

A few months ago, I found an old paperback book called Skis Against the Atom by Captain Knut Haukelid (London:  William Kimber and Company, 1954) and bought it.  As a lifelong skier with a father who served in the original US ski troops, the 10th Mountain Division, in WWII, I felt that I had to pick it up.  It is the memoir of a Norwegian soldier who fled Norway to England when the Germans occupied his country and then returned after training to commit sabotage and organize the resistance in his home country, far behind enemy lines.  Captain Haukelid was one of the soldiers who committed what some call the most successful act of sabotage in WWII:  they blew up the heavy water manufacturing facility in Vemork near the Rjukan Falls in the Telemark region and, later, destroyed the store of heavy water that it had produced while it was en route to Germany.  This small group stopped the Nazis from building an atomic bomb.
The 60 MW Vemork hydroelectric power station was built by Norsk Hydro in 1934, the first commercial plant capable of producing heavy water, a byproduct of fertilizer production. Just before the German invasion of Norway on April 9, 1940, the Deuxième Bureau (French military intelligence) removed the store of heavy water from the plant with the permission of Norsk Hydro.  Eventually, the heavy water was transported to England.
As the Allies knew that the Germans were still producing heavy water at Vemork, they were anxious to stop the process and eliminate their capacity to produce the components of a possible atomic weapon.  The first attempt met with disaster.  On November 19, 1942 the British launched a glider attack on Rjukan with two gliders and two tow planes, 34 men in all. Both gliders and one of the two planes crashed in bad weather with 9 killed on impact in one glider, 3 in another.  The other 22 soldiers were captured by the Nazis and shot, after being tortured.
The second attempt occurred on the night of February 27-28, 1943 and was a successful commando raid on the electrolysis plant at Vemork.  Two parties of Norwegian soldiers, 10 men in all, trained as commandos and saboteurs, had been parachuted into Norway and hid in the Hardanger Vidda region in hunting cabins, living off the land in the dead of winter.  They skied to the plant and entered from the unprotected rear of the complex, descending into a ravine, fording an icy river, and climbing a steep hill until they reached a railway track that led straight into the plant.  They met no guards or sentries and entered the main basement through a cable tunnel.  Inside the plant, they encountered the Norwegian caretaker who cooperated with them, the only person they encountered on the raid.  They placed explosive charges on the heavy water electrolysis chambers, lit a long fuse, and escaped, leaving a British Sten submachine gun behind to fool the Nazis into thinking the sabotage was done by British forces and not by the local resistance, an attempt to avoid reprisals.  All the heavy water produced during the German occupation, over 1,100 pounds, was destroyed along with equipment critical to the operation of the electrolysis chambers.   There were no casualties. Although the Nazis mobilized 3000 soldiers to search the area, all of the saboteurs escaped, with five of them skiing 400 kilometers to Sweden and two traveling to Oslo to assist the Milorg, the Norwegian underground military operation.
However, by April the plant was operational again and the US Army Air Force began a series of raids on Vemork.  In November, the plant was attacked by a massed daylight bombing raid of 143 B-17 heavy bombers which dropped 711 bombs, at least 600 of which missed the plant.  Twenty two “mostly women and children” died when one bomb hit a shelter.  There was minimal damage to the plant and it continued to produce heavy water.  [In everything I have read about air warfare, bombing has never been anything that could be described as “surgical” and the effects on civilian populations have not been demoralization but more determination to fight against an enemy that would target non-combats.  If we recognize the courage of the people of England during the Battle of Britain and the V-2 raids, why do we think the Germans or the Vietnamese or anyone else would be so different?]  Because of the bombing campaign, the Nazis decided to to abandon the plant and move the remaining stock of heavy water and critical components back to Germany in 1944.
Captain Haukelid, who was still active in the area, learned of the Nazi plans and was ordered to destroy the shipment.  He decided to sabotage the ferry carrying the cargo across Lake Tinnsjö and on Sunday, February 20 1944, a day purposefully chosen to minimize civilian casualties, he and his team blew up the ferry.  A secondary commando party was waiting in Heröya if he failed and submarines were stationed in the Skagerrak as a further fail safe.  Eighteen people were killed on the ferry, twenty-nine survived. The dead included 8 German soldiers, the crew of 7, and 3 passengers. "Some of the Norwegian rescuers felt that the Germans should not be saved, but this attitude did not prevail and four German soldiers were saved."
The destruction of the Nazi heavy water capability cost the lives of 34 British commandos, 22 Norwegian women and children in Vemork, and 18 people on the Tinnsjö ferry.  Whether they knew it or not, these 74 people were casualties in the first nuclear war.  Looking back from this distance, I was surprised that such an important victory cost so few lives, even though each one of them was an incalculable loss.
In his memoir, Captain Knut Haukelid wrote about a failed attempt to shoot a reindeer for food in deep winter:  "Hunting is like war in that there is only one standard of success.  Either one wins the war or one loses it.  Either one gets the meat or one doesn’t.”  These heroes of Telemark won their war.

Retro Photos

7 Labyrinths Worth Exploring

The wonder of travel lies equally with adventure and misadventure - there is nothing like getting thoroughly lost in a riddling country or culture that is not your own. But it is hard these days, with our ultra-planned excursions, fixers and 4G service, to get properly disoriented. Labyrinths, however, can remind us how it's done.
These mazes have appeared in various corners of the world throughout history. One can be found in a petroglyph on a river shore in Goa, India; cut into the stones of Ireland's many medieval churches; and arranged in a contemporary land-art installation at Lands End in San Francisco.

Climate Records Shattered in 2013

Climate Records Shattered in 2013If global warming could be compared to middle-age weight gain, then Earth is growing a boomer belly, according to a newly released report on the state of the global climate.
Climate data show that global temperatures in 2013 continued their long-term rising trend. In fact, 2013 was somewhere between the second- and sixth-hottest year on record for the planet since record keeping began in 1880, according to the climate report, released Thursday (July 17) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). (Four groups of scientists, who rely on slightly different methods to calculate global surface temperatures, ranked 2013 slightly differently compared with other years.)
The annual State of the Climate report compiles climate and weather data from around the world and is reviewed by 425 climate scientists from 57 countries. The report can be viewed online.
"You can think of it as an annual checkup on the planet," said Kathryn Sullivan, NOAA administrator.
And the checkup results show the planet ranged well outside of normal levels in 2013, hitting new records for greenhouse gases, Arctic heat, warm ocean temperatures and rising sea levels.
"The climate is changing more rapidly in today's world than at any time in modern civilization," said Thomas Karl, director of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. "If we look at it like we're trying to maintain an ideal weight, then we're continuing to see ourselves put more weight on from year to year," he said.
Climate scientists blame rising levels of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere for the planet's changing climate. The levels of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii hit 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in 2013. The worldwide average reached 395.3 ppm, a 2.8 ppm increase from 2012, NOAA reports. (Parts per million denotes the volume of a gas in the air; in this case, for every 1 million air molecules, 400 are carbon dioxide.)
"The major greenhouse gases all reached new record high values in 2013," said Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist with ERT, Inc., and a NOAA contractor who helped write the report.
Most parts of the planet experienced above-average annual temperatures in 2013, NOAA officials said. Australia experienced its warmest year on record, while Argentina had its second warmest and New Zealand its third warmest. There was a new high-temperature record set at the South Pole, of minus 53 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 47 degrees Celsius).
Here are the highlights from the report:
  • Sea level continued rising: Boosted by warm Pacific Ocean temperatures (which causes water to expand) and melting ice sheets, sea level rose 0.15 inches (3.8 millimeters), on par with the long-term trend of 0.13 inches (3.2 mm) per year over the past 20 years. 
  • Antarctic sea ice hit another record high: On October 1, Antarctic sea ice covered 7.56 million square miles (19.5 million square kilometers). This beats the old record set in 2012 by 0.7 percent. However, even though the Antarctic sea ice is growing, the continent's land-based glaciers continued to melt and shrink.
  • Arctic sea ice low: The Arctic sea ice extent was the sixth lowest since satellite observations began in 1979. The sea ice extent is declining by about 14 percent per decade.
  • Extreme weather: Deadly Super Typhoon Haiyan had the highest wind speed ever recorded for a tropical cyclone, with one-minute sustained winds reaching 196 mph (315 km/h). Flooding in central Europe caused billions of dollars in damage and killed 24 people.
  • Melting permafrost: For the second year in a row, record high temperatures were measured in permafrost on the North Slope of Alaska and in the Brooks Range. Permafrost is frozen ground underneath the Earth's surface. The temperatures were recorded more than 60 feet (20 meters) deep.
  • Arctic heat: Temperatures over land are rising faster in the Arctic than in other regions of the planet. Fairbanks, Alaska, had a record 36 days with temperatures at 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) or warmer. However, Greenland had a cooler than average summer.
  • Warm seas: Sea surface temperatures for 2013 were among the 10 warmest on record. Temperatures in the North Pacific hit a record high in 2013.

Bubble Busters?

The idea that there are an infinite number of universes beyond our own is assumed impossible to prove or disprove -- but a new computer model might give us hints as to what evidence to look for.

Daily Comic Relief


Dogs were a woman's best friend, too

Women and dogs were so close 8,000 years ago that they ate the same foods, suffered from the same illness and were buried in the same cemetery.

Grizzly Highway

10 Surprising Jobs Outsourced to Animals

Throughout history, people have taken advantage of animals and used them as aids in a wide variety of jobs. They have played a huge part in our development as a species and have allowed us to carry out tasks that would not have been possible without their help. You just have to look at activities such as farming, travelling, and guarding to see how useful animals like horses and dogs have been.

However, despite their everyday use, there are a few surprising jobs they have done that are not well known. Here are some of the oddest and most obscure tasks humans have made animals do through history.

45 Animals With Their Sweet Little Babies

We all love animals, Animal are cute, but their babies are even cuter. Just like us, baby animals are curious, naive and big-eyed. Take a break and visit these cute baby animal pictures with their mommas.

Italian beach launches first dog ambulance

A pet-friendly Italian beach has introduced an ambulance service for dogs, to treat four-legged companions feeling ill in the heat.
Bathers at the seaside resort of Bibione, near Venice, can ring a helpline called Mi Fido di Te - the Italian for "I trust you" - and volunteers equipped with oxygen, dressing kits and a microchip reader will tend to the dog.
Local authorities have said it is most common to see dogs suffering from sunstroke or dehydration, or who injure themselves while playing on the sand. In serious cases, pets can be stretchered from the beach to a veterinary clinic.
The service is free, but the volunteers accept donations to help cover costs. Bibione resort already has a range of canine facilities, including showers, beds and leashes, as well as Pluto Beach, which is especially for dogs.

Animal Pictures