Welcome to ...

The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Daily Drift

Yeah, it's like that ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

And how ... !
Today is  -  Hot Enough For Ya Day 
Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our reader today have been in:
The Americas
Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Mexico City, Cuauhtemoc, Mexico
Ottawa, Canada
Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Bolivia
Bogota, Colombia
The Bottom, Sint Eustatius and Saba
Ravenna, Milan, Perugia, Naples, Treviso, Italy
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nuremberg, Germany
Moscow, Pavshino, Ryazan, Russia
Vinnytsya, Ukraine
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Montana, Bulgaria
Belgrade, Serbia
Tbilisi, Georgia
Birmingham, New Silksworth, London, England
Bratislava, Slovenia
Nea Smirni, Greece
Jelenia Gora, Poland
Madrid, Spain
Amman, Jordan
Suratgarh, Kolkata, Jodhpur, Gandhi Nagar, New Delhi, Bangalore, India
Kuala Lumpur, Bayan Lepas, Seri Kembangan, Malaysia
La Dagotiere, Port Louis, Mauritius
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Binagadi, Azerbaijan
Rangoon, Burma
Bang Rak, Thailand
Thumphu, Bhutan
Nanjing, Tianjan, China
Tsiuentcheou, Korea
Jakarta, Indonesia
Nahavand, Iran
Boksburg, Rivonia, South Africa
Lagos, Nigeria
Praia, Cape Verde
The Pacific
Pasig, Santa Cruz, Philippines
Sydney, Australia

Today in History

1627 Sir George Calvert arrives in Newfoundland to develop his land grant.
1637 King Charles of England hands over the American colony of Massachusetts to Sir Fernando Gorges, one of the founders of the Council of New England.
1664 Wealthy, non-church members in Massachusetts are given the right to vote.
1793 The French garrison at Mainz, Germany, falls to the Prussians.
1803 Irish patriots throughout the country rebel against Union with Great Britain.
1829 William A. Burt patents his "typographer," an early typewriter.
1849 German rebels in Baden capitulate to the Prussians.
1863 Bill Andeson and his Confederate Bushwackers gut the railway station at Renick, Missouri.
1865 William Booth founds the Salvation Army.
1868 The 14th Amendment is ratified, granting citizenship to African Americans.
1885 Ulysses S. Grant dies of throat cancer at the age of 63.
1894 Japanese troops take over the Korean imperial palace.
1903 The Ford Motor Company sells its first automobile, the Model A.
1944 Soviet troops take Lublin, Poland as the German army retreats.
1962 The Geneva Conference on Laos forbids the United States to invade eastern Laos.
1995 Two astronomers, Alan Hale in New Mexico and Thomas Bopp in Arizona, almost simultaneouly discover a comet.

Non Sequitur


Couple conserving water amid drought could face fine for brown lawn

A Southern Californian couple who scaled back watering their lawn amid the state's drought received a warning from the suburb where they live that they might be fined for creating an eyesore - despite emergency statewide orders to conserve. Michael Korte and Laura Whitney, who live near Los Angeles in Glendora, said on Thursday they received a letter from the city warning they had 60 days to green up their partially brown lawn or pay a fine ranging from $100 - $500 (£58 - £292). "I don't think it's right for us to start pouring water into our lawn in the middle of July during a drought," said Whitney.
"We're kind of in a quandary about what to do." The letter, bearing the official symbols of Glendora and its police department, came the same week that statewide water regulators passed emergency drought restrictions for outdoor water use. Those regulations, to take effect this August, require cities to demand cutbacks in water use, and empower them to fine residents up to $500 for overwatering their lawns. California is in the third year of an extreme drought that is expected to cost the state an estimated $2.2 billion and more than 17,000 agricultural jobs.
Democratic Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in January. In Glendora, City Manager Chris Jeffers said the city did encourage conservation, but that Korte's and Whitney's lawn was in such bad shape that it was reported as possibly abandoned. "We were responding to a complaint that we received of a possible abandoned property," Jeffers said. "Crews visited and determined it was not abandoned, but not kept. The landscape was dead and there were large areas of just dirt." Instead of citing the couple, he said, officials opted to leave a letter explaining that conserving water did not mean abandoning the landscape.

"Conservation does not mean neighborhoods need to deteriorate because property owners want (the) landscape to die or go unmaintained," he said. Glendora's action provoked a strong response from state environmental officials, who said such moves undermined conservation efforts. “Throughout the state, Californians are making serious efforts every day to cut their water use during this extreme drought," said Amy Norris, spokeswoman for the California Environmental Protection Agency. "These efforts to conserve should not be undermined by the short-sighted actions of a few local jurisdictions, who chose to ignore the statewide crisis we face."

Did you know ...

About Elizabeth Warren's 11 commandments of Progressivism
Here's where to find out how hot summers will be in your city this century
Going inside the wingnut message coordination between politicians and journalists
And surely you're sexist, Mr. Feynman
Hey, North Carolina, your racism is showing
Meet the 7 crazy-assed libertarians that might help the Democrats hold the senate
Why are liberals funnier than wingnuys?
About how Dominos pizza lost the Noid mascot
About 'pro-life' v. real life
Here's corporate behavior so bad even fortune magazine can't stomach it
Why Americans insist on being delusional about racism
That the Bundy ranch stand off emboldened volatile extremists, says so. poverty law center
Why the wingnuts hate your "consequence-free sex"
About the wage theft and other niceties inside New York's food industry
That a pro-fracking group blocks national park in Colorado
About the coming collapse of capitalism
That 2 out every 5 U.S. households only have wireless phones
About why are the super-rich so angry?
About paying employees to stay, not go
About stand your playground
Dear democrats: economic inequality is not an act of god
Do want to know how much corporate money any given politician gets?  There's an app for that
That female white house staffers got smaller raises than male staffers
That riots rocked Argentina after world cup loss to Germany
That the oceans face irreplaceable damage
About how NYC real estate became a dumping ground for the world's dirty money
Going inside the wingnut's creepy demonization of helpless Americans
About the real reason pot is still illegal
That states that raised their minimum wage experience faster job growth
About how wingnut extremists took over Texas
About the danger of conflating criticism of Israel with anti-sematism
About the troubling world of corporate christianity

Florida jury slams RJ Reynolds with $23.6B in damages

Florida jury slams tobacco company with $23.6B in punitive damages in widow's lawsuit
Fla. jury slams RJ Reynolds with $23.6B in damages
A Florida jury has slammed the nation's No. 2 cigarette maker, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., with $23.6 billion in punitive damages in a lawsuit filed by the widow of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer in 1996.
The case is one of thousands filed in Florida after the state Supreme Court in 2006 tossed out a $145 billion class action verdict. That ruling also said smokers and their families need only prove addiction and that smoking caused their illnesses or deaths.
Last year, Florida's highest court re-approved that decision, which made it easier for sick smokers or their survivors to pursue lawsuits against tobacco companies without having to prove to the court again that Big Tobacco knowingly sold dangerous products and hid the hazards of cigarette smoking.
The damages a Pensacola jury awarded Friday to Cynthia Robinson after a four-week trial come in addition to $16.8 million in compensatory damages.
Robinson individually sued Reynolds in 2008 on behalf of her late husband, Michael Johnson Sr. Her attorneys said the punitive damages are the largest of any individual case stemming from the original class action lawsuit.
"The jury wanted to send a statement that tobacco cannot continue to lie to the American people and the American government about the addictiveness of and the deadly chemicals in their cigarettes," said one of the woman's attorneys, Christopher Chestnut.
Reynolds' vice president and assistant general counsel, J. Jeffery Raborn, called the damages in Robinson's case "grossly excessive and impermissible under state and constitutional law."
"This verdict goes far beyond the realm of reasonableness and fairness, and is completely inconsistent with the evidence presented," Raborn said in a statement. "We plan to file post-trial motions with the trial court promptly, and are confident that the court will follow the law and not allow this runaway verdict to stand."
The lawsuit's goal was to stop tobacco companies from targeting children and young people with their advertising, said Willie Gary, another attorney representing Robinson.
"If we don't get a dime, that's OK, if we can make a difference and save some lives," Gary said.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court turned away cigarette manufacturers' appeals of more than $70 million in court judgments to Florida smokers. Reynolds, Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. had wanted the court to review cases in which smokers won large damage awards without having to prove that the companies sold a defective and dangerous product or hid the risks of smoking.
The Supreme Court refused to hear another of the companies' appeals last year, wanting the court to consider overturning a $2.5 million Tampa jury verdict in the death of a smoker.
Other Florida juries have hit tobacco companies with tens of millions of dollars in punitive damages in lawsuits stemming from the original class action lawsuit.
In August, a Fort Lauderdale jury awarded $37.5 million, including $22.5 million in punitive damages against Reynolds, to the family of a smoker who died at age 38 of lung cancer in 1995.
Attorneys for Reynolds said they would appeal, arguing that the woman knew the dangers of smoking because cigarettes had warning labels when she started. The attorney for the woman's family said teenagers like her were targeted by tobacco companies.
Some large jury verdicts awarding tens of millions of dollars in damages to relatives of smokers have been upheld by appeals courts.
In September, the 3rd District Court of Appeals affirmed $25 million in punitive damages and $10 million in compensatory damages against Lorillard, the country's No. 3 cigarette maker, for Dorothy Alexander, whose husband died in 1996 of lung cancer. Lorillard, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, unsuccessfully argued the damages were excessive and raised a number of other claims.
The 1st District Court of Appeals upheld in June 2013 a $20 million punitive damage award to another smoker's widow, more than a year after reversing a $40.8 million award in the same case against Reynolds. After the appeals court rejected the first award as excessive the award amount was recalculated. The tobacco company still objected.
Philip Morris is the country's biggest tobacco company and owned by Richmond, Virginia-based Altria Group Inc. Reynolds is owned by Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Reynolds American Inc.

The Cult of the Almight Dollar

Cremation ashes that 'looked like dope' returned a year after drug raid

Cremains seized during a drug raid more than a year ago were returned on Friday, Michigan State Police said. “Correct, they are part of cremated remains,” said First Lt. Wayne Eddington, commander of the MSP Fifth District Task Force, when asked on Thursday about the ashes. “They looked like dope and no one said anything to us for a year. They were packaged like we typically see as drugs. They will be returned on Friday.” The two plastic bags were seized from a cluttered desk drawer at a home in Barry County, according to attorney Bruce Leach of Grand Blanc. Troopers described them as plastic bags, one containing 0.9 ounces of a unknown tan-coloured powder and the second was 1.5 ounces of the same unknown powder. The seizure was part of a June 26, 2013, raid on three marijuana dispensaries, including the Karmacy. That business, owned by Kiel Howland, was accused of selling marijuana in violation of Michigan Medical Marijuana law. As part of the investigation, a search warrant was issued for the Barry County home of Howland’s parents. Leach said the cremains were of Howland’s grandparents. Leach asked about the cremains at a Calhoun County District Court hearing for Howland on June 30 and then sent a letter to Assistant Prosecutor Matt Smith on Tuesday.

“As we discussed on the record following the last hearing with Judge Franklin Line, the immediate return of the cremated remains of Mr. Kiel Howland’s grandparents is demanded,” Leach wrote to Smith. He said on Thursday they were seized at the home of Howland’s parents and marked as evidence, “desecrating the treasured family members remains.” Leach said family members told officers at the time what was in the plastic bags and Leach said he has asked for them to be returned. Eddington said he was not at the house and doesn’t know what the officers were told. He said he only learned of the request on Wednesday from Smith.
Prosecutor David Gilbert said he approved the search warrant for the house but officers decided what to seize. “They probably thought there was some evidential value,” Gilbert said. “I don’t know what is in it. If it’s remains it ought to be returned.” Charges against Howland include delivery of marijuana and possession with intent to deliver marijuana. A preliminary examination in the case was reset for Oct. 6. Police have alleged Howland violated the law by selling the drugs to customers rather than using caregivers, as prescribed by the Michigan law. But Leach has argued that the dispensary was licensed and inspected by the City of Springfield and approved to operate. “I am hoping I can end this case at the preliminary examination,” Leach said.

Body mistaken for mannequin thrown away

For the second time this year, someone in the Tampa Bay area of Florida has mistaken a body for a mannequin and thrown it away. It happened in St. Petersburg this spring when a security guard trashed the body of an elderly woman who had jumped to her death from her 16th-floor apartment. And it happened in Spring Hill on Thursday when two workers hired to clean out a house believed the body of a man who hanged himself in the garage was a mannequin used for a prank. One of the men took the body to a dump, where county workers became suspicious and called deputies.
"It was obviously very unusual and very hard to believe," Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said at a news conference on Thursday evening. Sheriff's officials said Israel Lopez, 50, and Adam Hines, 36, were hired to clean out the vacant house at 6527 Treehaven Drive. The house was in disarray, Nienhuis said, similar to an episode of Hoarders. Dead rodents filled the house and the workers believed that was the source of a foul smell, he said. While cleaning, the men saw what they both believed was a mannequin hanging from the ceiling in the garage.
"Both individuals as well as the property owners believed the lifelike mannequin was a distasteful Halloween-like hoax left by the former renters," sheriff's officials said in a news release. The men cut the body down, placed it in a pick-up along with other refuse, and hauled everything to the West Hernando garbage transfer station. There, county employees became suspicious. Shortly before noon on Thursday, they called the Sheriff's Office and reported that a body had possibly been disposed at a nearby dump. Deputies arrived and confirmed their suspicions.
While deputies investigated, Lopez returned to drop off another load of garbage. County officials recognized him and notified deputies. Nienhuis said Lopez and Hines made an honest mistake and all the evidence indicates that no crime was committed. "I think it's important to realize that … most people, they either have seen someone who has very recently passed … or they see them at a funeral home," Nienhuis said. "Obviously, this body was not anything close to either of those. It was somewhat mummified." Deputies identified the dead man as Jeremy Allen Witfoth, 33. Sheriff's officials said he was a previous renter, and it appears hanged himself sometime in the past several weeks.
You can watch Sheriff Nienhuis' news conference here, and there's news video here.

Couple surrender to police following baby dinosaur model theft

Two people accused of stealing a dinosaur model worth $10,000 from a North Carolina museum have turned themselves in. According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, 21-year-old Logan Todd Ritchey, of Raleigh, and 21-year-old Alyssa Ann Lavacca, of Holly Springs, turned themselves in to State Capitol Police on Thursday morning.
The suspects are accused of stealing a $10,000 replica of a baby Edmontosaurus from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences on Monday. Surveillance video showed a man jumping over the barrier of the Prehistoric North Carolina exhibit, taking the dinosaur model, and putting it in a woman's bag. Officials said a male dropped off a bag near the rear service entrance of the museum after business hours on Wednesday. That bag contained the dinosaur model stolen on Monday.
According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, Ritchey and Lavacca are charged with two felony counts of theft or destruction of property of public libraries, museums, etc. Ritchey was being held on a $2,000 secured bond and Lavacca was released on an unsecured bond. "I doubt these two individuals realized the seriousness of tampering with artifacts and exhibits in a public museum," said State Capitol Police Chief Glen Allen.

"North Carolina's Museum of Natural Sciences and Museum of History are premier facilities known throughout the nation. Thousands of North Carolinians and tourists visit regularly to enjoy exhibits and programs that offer opportunities to get up close and personal with science and history. We want to help preserve that experience for everyone." Police said an item worth less than $1,000 was also stolen from the Museum of History. That item has been recovered as well.

Restaurant burglar arrested after returning for lunch wearing the same clothes

An alleged serial burglar’s craving for El Pollo Loco Mexican-style grilled chicken appears to have contributed to his arrest.
Daniel Warn, 28, was caught on security video in the early morning hours of July 16 going through the drive-through window at the fast food restaurant in Costa Mesa, California. Video allegedly showed him ransacking the eatery, but he failed to find any money.
Later that day, police say Warn, of Bloomington, returned to the El Pollo Local to order food wearing the same distinctive hat and bright green shirt. “Shortly before noon on July 16, employees at the El Pollo Loco contacted Costa Mesa Police reporting that a subject matching the description of the suspect seen on the store video was back at the restaurant, in line to order food,” authorities said.

Warn was arrested at the restaurant. He is also a suspect in several other commercial burglaries in the south Costa Mesa area that occurred earlier in the week. Warn, who has a criminal arrest record, was out of jail as part of California’s Realignment program. He is being held at the Orange County Jail on $35,000 bail.

Random Photos

License renewal for silent disco refused following complaints that it is too loud

The city of Salzburg in Austria has refused to renew a license for a silent disco clubbing event in the Volksgarten after complaints that it was “too loud and wild”.
At a silent disco people listen to music on wireless headphones, broadcast via a radio transmitter. Those without the headphones hear no music, giving the effect of a room full of people dancing to nothing. However the Mayor of Salzburg, Heinz Schaden, said it was still too loud for residents.
“Especially at the weekends the young people are staying up until 4am and later. In the summer people want to sleep with their windows open, and the noise - even from a silent disco - is keeping them up,” he said. Werner Purkhart, who’s been running the silent disco for the past four years, is not happy.
"I have seen not a single police car pull up outside the silent disco - so there can’t have been that many complaints. It seems unfair to shut down an institution like the silent disco just because of some rumours,” he said. Members of the city council are to meet with the silent disco team and if the city refuses to renew the licence Purkhart plans a “silent demonstration”.

Australian Government Quietly Revokes the Patent for the Wheel

In 2001, an Australian man named John Keogh designed a "circular transportation facilitation device." He patented it through his nation's intellectual property register. Since that time, this marvelous invention has become popularly known as the "wheel." It's a tremendously useful implement for moving objects across horizontal distances. Engineers have often applied it in combinations, so that it is now common to see devices with not only one wheel, but often two or more wheels.
Unfortunately for Keogh, he has lost the legal protection that his patent granted him and, no doubt, the impressive royalties that he gained by licensing it. Marc Abrahams of Beta Boston reports that the Australian government has quietly revoked Keogh's patent.

Adult motorized Big Wheel

White Trike 640x480 If you miss your Big Wheel, you might dig this $2,000 motorized Big Wheel Drift Trike.

Death by Text

Is all of the texting we do burying the language as we know it? If ur all idk, prob could b! Ross Everett pops in to tell grammar nerds far and wide if all hope is lost.

Guts, But No Clothes, Required

Tired of mud runs? Nearly 30 nude running events have sprung up nationwide.



13 Facts You Didn't Know About Fruits

Did you know that raspberries are a member of the rose family? That pear leaves were once used for smoking? And what came first: orange the color or orange the fruit?
Here are 13 Facts You Didn't Know About Fruits.

12 Vintage Pictures Of Farm Stands

A farm stand is a primarily open-air business venue that sells seasonal fruit and many fruit products from local growers. It might also sell vegetables and various processed items derived from fruit. The fruit stand is a small business structure that is primarily run as an independent sole proprietorship.
Here are 12 vintage picture of farm stands from the Library of Congress.

The Tangalooma Wrecks Of Moreton Island

The ship wrecks of Tangalooma are located on the western side of Moreton Island near the township of Tangalooma, a former whaling station. Moreton Island is a large sand island - the third largest in the world - located on the coast of south-east Queensland, Australia, which together with Fraser Island, forms the largest sand structure in the world.
The wrecks comprises of fifteen vessels that have been deliberately sunk near the coast to form a breakwall for small boats, also creating an amazing wreck dive and snorkel site in the process. Even in this shallow water, the wrecks attract an amazing amount of marine life, including wobbegongs, trevally, kingfish, yellowtail and lots of tropical fish.

Mystery Sites Around The World

What's a better mystery to solve than a strange site with significant meaning somewhere on Earth? These sites are linked with stories or unexplained phenomena that defy rational explanation. Here are 4 mystery sites that will trigger some unanswered questions.


Preikestolen or Prekestolen, also known by the English translations of Preacher's Pulpit or Pulpit Rock, is a famous tourist attraction in Forsand, Ryfylke, Norway. It consists of a steep cliff which rises 604 meters (1982 feet) above Lysefjorden, opposite the Kjerag plateau, with an almost flat top of approximately 25 by 25 metres (82 by 82 feet).
The authorities have opted not to install fencing or other safety devices as they felt it would detract from the natural beauty of the site and the fact that fatalities at the site are extremely rare, despite having approximately 200,000 visitors each year. Furthermore, there were concerns that fences or other devices might encourage dangerous behavior such as climbing onto the fences. It should also be noted that it is a policy from Norwegian authorities that "we cannot fence in all nature in this country", and this is supported by the Norwegian population who are generally more accustomed to "dangerous nature" of their country than foreign tourists.

Daily Comic Relief


Elusive Dark Matter

In Search of Elusive Dark Matter

While scientists have long known that dark matter exists, they […]

Universal Bubble

Is the universe a bubble? Let’s check

Never mind the big bang; in the beginning was the […]

Rejected baby monkey has become best friends with Jack Russell puppies

A baby drill monkey being raised by a zoo keeper has become best friends with his two Jack Russell puppies. Simon Jeffrey decided to raise Mubi the monkey, after her mother rejected her at Port Lympne animal park in south-east England.

Now, puppies Daisy and Ian are keeping the 2-month-old monkey company whilst she is being looked after.
African drill monkeys are an endangered species, whose population has dropped to around 3,000 in the wild. Simon believes that Mubi will eventually be able to rejoin her family in the animal park.

Cherry picker used to rescue possum-chasing dog stuck 30 meters up tree

Archie the Jack Russell didn't let a 30-meter tree climb put him off the scent of a possum. But the 2-year-old pooch hadn't quite thought through his escape plan. Owner Louise Blair says she came home and heard the sound of Archie yelping, something not uncommon on their 35-acre Huapai property in west Auckland, New Zealand.
''We have a few dogs and they go off hunting for possums in the bush. But I heard him yelping when I got home on Wednesday,'' Blair said. ''My husband went out to look for him and found Archie stuck up a pine tree. We didn't know what to do. 'The tree was too difficult to climb and ladders couldn't reach far enough. 'I phoned the SPCA who told me to ring the emergency services.

"They said they couldn't do anything and to call animal welfare. I called Auckland Council animal control and they couldn't do anything either. All the people I talked to thought it was funny, but no-one could help.'' Blair said she started to get a little nervous because she didn't want Archie to try and jump. ''Then I had a thought to get a cherry-picker. We phoned the nearest company Prolift Access Hire.

''They came rushing down with an enormous cherry-picker and helped us get him out of the tree. It was really neat of them.'' Blair said Archie must have been up the tree a fair while before they found him because the first thing he did when he was brought back to ground was take a very long wee. ''Archie seemed to be fine afterwards. I don't think the experience will stop him from chasing possums up trees.''

10 Reasons Why Crest Is Best

Extreme Crest Feathers
Many species of birds possess crest feathers and this feature dates back to the age of the dinosaur: the fossil record indicates that a number of species had feathers on their heads. You might think that they are for display purposes - and you would not be wrong although their function is sometimes more complex than that.
However, some birds take this avian attribute to the extreme. The results are striking and beautiful. Here are the Top Ten Crest Feathered Birds.

Animal Pictures