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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Daily Drift

That just about sums it up ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

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The Pacific
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Non Sequitur


Today in History

1619 The House of Burgesses convenes for the first time at Jamestown, Va.
1787 The French parliament refuses to approve a more equitable land tax.
1799 The French garrison at Mantua, Italy, surrenders to the Austrians.
1864 In an effort to penetrate the Confederate lines around Petersburg, Va. Union troops explode a mine underneath the Confederate trenches but fail to break through. The ensuing action is known as the Battle of the Crater.
1919 Federal troops are called out to put down Chicago race riots.
1938 George Eastman demonstrates his color motion picture process.
1940 A bombing lull ends the first phase of the Battle of Britain.
1960 Over 60,000 Buddhists march in protest against the Diem government in South Vietnam.
1965 President Lyndon Johnson signs the Medicare Bill into law.
1967 General William Westmoreland claims that he is winning the war in Vietnam, but needs more men.
1975 Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa disappears, last seen coming out of a restaurant in Bloomingfield Hills, Michigan.
1988  King Hussein dissolves Jordan's Parliament, surrenders Jordan's claims to the West Bank to the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
1990 Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent forces George Steinbrenner to resign as principal parter of the New York Yankees.
2003 The last of the uniquely shaped "old style" Volkswagen Beetles rolls off the assembly line in Mexico.
2012 Blackout in India as power grid failure leaves 300 million+ without power.

Congress Blocks Obama’s Attempt to Order New Office Supplies

Borowitz Report 
The Borowitz Report
by Andy Borowitz
The war between Congress and the White House took a turn for the worse on Friday as House repugicans sought to prevent President Obama from ordering new office supplies.The House panel that mandated the office-supply freeze denied that it was politically motivated, citing “budgetary concerns.” “It’s time President Obama learned a tough lesson,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters. “Being President does not entitle you to a spending spree at Staples.”
At the White House, the President blasted the repugicans’ move to strip him of legal pads, pencils, and other office essentials, calling it “just their latest attempt to keep me from doing my job.”
In an Oval Office appearance, a visibly irritated President Obama showed reporters a nearly empty supply cabinet and said, “They have manufactured this crisis,” noting that he will be out of paper clips and Post-its by August.

George Will stuns Faux News panel: ‘Preposterous’ that U.S. can’t shelter child refugees from violence

by David Edwards
Faux News contributor George Will shocked his fellow panelists on Sunday by asserting that the United States should not deport child refugees who were fleeing violence in Central America.
George Will speaks to Fox News
“We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to America, you’re going to go to school, and get a job, and become American,’” Will suggested. “We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county.”
“They idea that we can’t assimilate these 8-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous,” he added.
At that point, Faux News host Chris Wallace interrupted: “You got to know, we’re going to get tons of email saying, ‘This guy doesn’t understand the border. Why should we be dealing with Central America’s problem? We can’t import the problem, they’ve got to deal with it there, and our border has to mean something.’”
“We can handle this problem is what I’m saying,” Will explained. “We’ve handled what [American poet] Emma Lazarus called the ‘wretched refuse of your teeming shore’ a long time ago, and a lot more people than this.”

China’s Navy Shows Off Massage Techniques in Soft-Power Display

On a Chinese hospital ship off Hawaii, crew members demonstrate traditional massage techniques to U.S. sailors. The mood is one of collegiality, even after China opted out of Japan-led humanitarian drills at the world’s largest international naval exercise. There are no guns in sight as Senior Captain Sun Tao stands on the deck of the Peace Ark that’s taking part in the five-week-long Rim of the Pacific Exercise, known as Rimpac. Inside the ship, sailors tuck into fatty pork and steamed buns, watching President Xi Jinping on state television, while others give out Chinese massages.
“The Chinese navy now is acting on orders to have a cooperative and open attitude,” Sun said after Chinese navy cameramen filmed reporters visiting its eight operating theaters, dental facilities and CT scanner. “I think cooperative areas are growing wider.”
The Peace Ark, at about 580 feet, is the friendly face of China’s expanding military power in the Pacific, helping treat thousands after Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the Philippines in November 2013. In another bid to soften its public image, the army turned to dancing robots, served up Big Macs and showed that amphibious vehicles can indeed do donuts at its latest open day in Beijing on July 22.

Even so, China’s decision to avoid the Japan-led Rimpac disaster-relief drills reflects remaining tensions with its neighbors over territory as Xi pledges to restore China to naval prominence in the region. China fanned concerns about its intentions by sending a surveillance vessel to waters off Hawaii even as it participated in the 22-nation Rimpac exercise for the first time, sending the second-largest fleet.
‘Fame, Friendship, Fear’
“China’s participation is motived by fame, friendship and fear,” said Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto, an associate research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “The hospital ship shows China wants to present the benign image that its naval modernization is actually beneficial to the region. The spy ship shows there is still a trust deficit between the two sides.”
Rimpac offers China and the U.S. a non-confrontational way to learn more about each other’s capabilities compared with more tense encounters including a near-collision with a U.S. cruiser in December. While China’s four People’s Liberation Army Navy ships have been welcomed they’ve been kept out of core war games, and the exercise is led by the U.S. along with allies Australia, Canada and Japan. China and Japan are sparring over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, over which China declared an air defense identification zone last November.
‘Might for Peace’
Commissioned in 2008, the Peace Ark has visited 16 countries and provided medical services to Chinese navy escort fleets in the Gulf of Aden. On its way back from Hawaii, the ship will stop in Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, Sun said.
“The Peace Ark is one of the most notable it’s sent to Rimpac, because the Peace Ark was deployed in the past to build China’s image of its growing military might for peace and humanitarian purposes,” said Jian Zhang, a senior lecturer at the Canberra-based Australian Defence Force Academy of the University of New South Wales. “It wants to show it can play a positive and constructive role in international security cooperation.”
Limited Participation
Even so, while China initially indicated interest in participating in some of the “scenario-driven” humanitarian events, it limited the scope of its participation to military medicine exchanges and training, Lieutenant Lenaya Rotklein, a public affairs officer for Rimpac, said by e-mail. Peace Ark did take part in a medical orientation and military medicine symposium with more than 120 international medical officials.
“While at sea, Peace Ark and USNS Mercy participated in mass casualty events and medical evacuation training,” she said.
The Peace Ark has worked closely with U.S. hospital ship USNS Mercy and even requested the U.S. ship attend the exercise for the first time, Captain Paul Spedero of the amphibious assault vessel USS Peleliu, which is at Rimpac alongside the Mercy, said in an interview on the bridge of his ship. The U.S. is restricted by law on the types of contacts it can have with the Chinese, Captain Spedero said.
“They’ve been pursuing this capability for some time, they’re very interested in our capability with the Mercy in the Pacific,” he said. “They are very serious about the development of that capability.”
Typhoon Relief
When Haiyan hit the Philippines, the U.S. sent the USS George Washington aircraft carrier, as well as two amphibious ships carrying around 900 marines from Okinawa in Japan.
China sent the Peace Ark, which ferried the sick and injured from shore using its sole helicopter. The visit was the first time the navy engaged in overseas humanitarian medical aid, according to the Ministry of Defense.
“I felt that the people of the Philippines -- ordinary people, government officials, or the military -- welcomed our services,” Sun said about his experience there. “Through this medical service, they can deepen their understanding of the Chinese navy and its thinking.”
While it will focus on humanitarian work, the ship’s triage area can handle wartime casualties, according to Du Xin, a lieutenant commander on the ship.
China and the Philippines are embroiled in a territorial dispute over resource-rich shoals in the South China Sea. The Philippines has accused China of building artificial islands in the area and harassing its coast guard and fishing boats.
First Carrier
As it presses its territorial claims, China is building longer-range naval and air capacity. Its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, was commissioned in 2012 and has conducted sea trials. The country is holding military exercises in the South China Sea until Aug. 1 and a drill in the East China Sea until Aug. 2.
“In between the extremes of humanitarian uses for its navy and cold-war style espionage, may be found capacities that show China is no laggard in what Chinese President and commander-in-chief, Xi Jinping requires of the country’s armed forces -- the ability to fight and win wars,” Rosita Dellios, an associate professor of international relations at Bond University on Australia’s Gold Coast, said in an e-mail.
For now, China is stressing the humanitarian work of its navy. On board the Peace Ark, Commander Fu Bensheng received a traditional cupping massage in the Traditional Chinese Medicine ward. The ship carries a slogan from Chairman Mao Zedong that “being humble helps you become a good person, and being arrogant does the opposite.”
“The Chinese Navy will take part in more rescues,” Sun said, sipping green tea in the ship’s cafe. “Whenever there is a disaster, countries’ rescue ability is limited. You need many countries to help them. China will positively take part in international humanitarian rescues.”

The Muslims of Tromsø: Ramadan in the Land of the Midnight Sun

by Dennis Betzholz
The Muslims of Tromsø: Ramadan in the Land of the Midnight Sun  
During Ramadan, Muslims fast until the sun goes down. But what if you live in a place where there is no sunset? The believers in Tromsø, Norway spent years searching for a solution to that conundrum. Now that they have found one, new problems have arisen.  More

Police investigate Hugging

Police are investigating a non-aggravated assault that involved a recently discharged patient hugging a staff member unprovoked on Friday morning outside the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.
An employee told police that a man approached her at around 10:18am near the loading dock, grabbed her coffee and hugged her.
The man left when another staff member "interrupted the confrontation," according to the U-M police log. Responding police officers were unable to find the man, but he was identified as a recently discharged patient.
The suspect was described as a white male, very dark tan, 40s, 6 feet tall, shoulder-length greasy dark brown hair, wearing blue jeans, a white shirt with “Staff” written on the back, red hospital socks and no shoes.

Couple recieve probation

A western Pennsylvania couple, accused of luring their five-year-old son into the trunk of their car with candy to resolve his fear of the dark, were granted probation this week.
Jeffrey and Danielle Lenhart were charged with felony child endangerment and reckless endangerment for locking their son in the car during three trips to the Idlewild amusement park in Lingonier, Pennsylvania, in July 2013. They gave him a flashlight and told him to look for sweets before locking the trunk at the park, about 9.5-miles (15 km) from their home in Latrobe, court officials said.
They were accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program on Thursday in a deal approved by Westmoreland County Judge Richard McCormick Jr., according to Danielle Lenhart's lawyer, Deborah Jackson. "She recognizes the serious nature of what has happened and I don't think we will see her in court again," Jackson said of her client. The incidents came to light when one of the couple's children was interviewed by child welfare officials for undisclosed reasons.
The boy and another sibling, who is 4, have been staying with relatives following the charges, but will be returned to the home, court officials said. A younger sibling, 1, has already been reunited with the parents. Upon completion of two years probation, charges against the Lenharts will be dismissed and records expunged, Jackson said. A previous judge in the case did not want to allow the Lenharts to enter the rehabilitative program, but Jackson said she was pleased with McCormick's decision.
There's a news video from an earlier court hearing here. In this report the child is wrongly identified as being aged three.

Man accused of bar hopping on lawnmower charged with drunk driving

A Northern Colorado man has been arrested on suspicion on DUI while was driving a lawnmower. Police said Kenneth Welton was driving drunk from bar to bar along a very busy road in Garden City on a riding lawnmower.

“He couldn’t stand on his own. He was showing signs of impairment,” said Weld County Sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Standridge. Welton’s driver’s license had been revoked when he was arrested.
From jail, Welton, 53, said he was not using the lawnmower to get around, but instead to take care of overgrown weeds. “It was just surprising, it was just a total shock. What are you kidding me?

“I haven’t been, I’ve been working, I have been mowing, I haven’t been bar hopping,” said Welton. Standridge said deputies arrested Welton on Tuesday night after getting 911 calls from concerned drivers. “He’s lucky he didn’t hurt somebody or get himself hurt from somebody hitting him,” added Standridge.

Spanish city cracks down on noisy domino players

Authorities in the southern Spanish city of Seville have taken the unusual decision to ban dominoes and dice games in outdoor cafe areas, as part of a wider plan to crack down on noise in the city.The new measures will also look to clamp down on unnecessary car engine revving and loud TVs in restaurant terraces. Rolling beer barrels in the street or eating and drinking while standing up next to café terraces has also been banned.
Neighborhood associations have suggested most of the new regulations, 40 percent of which were ultimately voted in by the City Council. Opposition groups see the bizarre new measures as regressive and doubt the police will manage to control their implementation.
‏Spain is the noisiest country in Europe according to the World Health Organization.‏ Most Spaniards have to put up with noise levels of at least 70 decibels while the WHO recommends limits of 55db during the day and 45db at night.



Bacteria’s ability to fight obesity

Bacteria’s ability to fight obesity

A probiotic that prevents obesity could be on the horizon. […]

Twenty-Five Major Blunders

Number 22

The Banana Massacre

You are probably aware that the term “banana republic” came from the practices of the United Fruit Company, a U.S. firm that bought up large portions of several South American countries and wielded inordinate political power in the region, in order to supply the U.S. with bananas. The company’s power was such that government troops were made available to put down workers’ strikes. In Colombia, this led to a massacre.
In November 1928, grumbling among the more than 25,000 workers on the banana plantations of the United Fruit Company turned into a united effort with a well-organized strike against the massive American corporation.

The workers’ demands from United Fruit were far from unreasonable — a direct contract with the company, six-day work weeks, eight-hour days, medical care and the elimination of scripts (only good at company stores) that were paid to the workers instead of cash. Ten years earlier, the company’s workers had gone on strike with similar demands, but had failed to achieve their goals.
The Colombian government was afraid of a worker’s revolution, and also afraid the U.S. military would step in. Tensions led to a standoff between 1,400 workers and family members and 300 troops with machine guns on December 6. When the troops opened fire, the death toll was somewhere between 47 and 2,000 people. We will probably never know the exact number. Read about the massacre at Modern Farmer.

Faces of Medieval Scots Reconstructed

Forensic artists from the University of Dundee have rebuilt the faces of several of the nearly 400 men, women, and children whose remains were discovered in a medieval cemetery five years ago. “We have had a forensic pathology report done on all of the remains and that is allowing us to gain information about the population,” city archaeologist John Lawson told The Edinburgh Evening News. Most of those buried in South Leith Parish Church’s graveyard probably died of infectious diseases, and a small number of the women died in childbirth. Chemical analysis of a sample of the bones suggests that 80 percent of the dead had grown up in the Leith or Edinburgh area, eating a diet made up of predominately meat and dairy products with some marine fish. “It would have been a difficult life and it would have been hard for these folk because it was only a small hamlet,” added Jim Tweedie of Leith History Society.

Ancient 'astronomy lab' discovered in northern Peru

The archaeological complex of Licurnique, located four hours from Olmos district in Peru’s northern region of Lambayeque, reveals evidence of an astronomical laboratory from the formative stage.
Stone altar engraved with astronomical symbols is 3,500-4,000 years old
According to excavators, astronomical functions were engraved on rocks that have successfully stood the test of time.
The said archaeological site dates back to 3,500 or 4,000 years ago, and it is worth exploring without a doubt.
In it, archaeologists found a petroglyph that consists of a stone altar, an expression of religious superposition. It details and provides an understanding of Licurnique’s inhabitants.
Furthermore, astronomical observatories were engraved on a flat-surface rock, which were used to track stars and therefore to forecast rain fall for crops and human consumption.
In addition, explorers Juan Martinez and Manuel Curo agree that this complex combines ancient, Hispanic and Andean influences, event though it is unusual to find a blending of these three cultures’ customs, art and believes.
The astronomical laboratory was located near a river, whose vestiges are still visible but need to be preserved.
It should be noted that Licurnique is one of the 24 archaeological sites to be preserved under an inter-institutional agreement between Olmos district and the Naylamp-Lambayeque Executive Unit.

Daily Comic Relief


9 Reasons Why You’re a Mosquito Magnet

9 Reasons Why You’re a Mosquito Magnet
Mosquitoes are picky creatures — unsurprising if you’re the one always ducking for cover under a swarm of bloodsuckers while your friend remains unscathed. Good thing scientists are on the hunt to discover what makes certain people especially attractive to the tiny insects. Here are nine reasons they’ve come up with so far.
You Breathe
In many ways, no one is immune. The fact that humans breathe makes us all mosquito targets to varying degrees. More than 30 years ago, researchers discovered that carbon dioxide is one of the main reasons mosquitoes seek us out. The insects will fly to higher concentrations of CO2 (i.e. - large groups of people at sporting events and backyard parties), then use other sights and smells to narrow down their target.
You’re Tall
Because larger people produce more carbon dioxide and more body heat, they’re naturally more attractive to mosquitoes. This is why, when in groups, adults usually get bitten more than children, and men are targeted more often than women.
You’re Pregnant
Along with swollen feet and morning sickness, pregnant women are also nearly twice as likely to get bitten than those who are not expecting, according to one international study. Two reasons: Pregnant women produce excess amounts of carbon dioxide and body heat. 
You Exercise Regularly
During a workout, the body produces a chemical called lactic acid, which is released through sweat glands on the skin. And one German study confirmed that mosquitoes can detect and are attracted to lactic acid at close range.
Your Feet Stink
One study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that people with a higher abundance but lower diversity of bacteria on their feet are highly attractive to mosquitoes. The bacteria, which is pungent, is also found in Limburger cheese and is so effective at attracting mosquitoes, that scientists are using the cheese to trap and control the flies in Africa.
You’re Wearing Perfume
Mosquitoes suck the nectar of flowers for energy, so they’re attracted to floral scents. And certain floral odors are effective enough that researchers are figuring out how to use them to lure mosquitoes with their sweetness.
You’re Genetically Predisposed
Your genes are responsible for your body odor, so scientists are starting to test how genetic makeup could affect one’s susceptibility to mosquitoes. For example, one study published in the journal Infections, Genetics, and Evolution found that people with a particular HLA gene are more likely to be bitten. 
You Drink Beer
Downing just one 12-ounce beer can increase the risk of being bitten, says the Journal of the American Mosquito Association, although it’s unclear why. Just make sure that backyard beer is worth it.
You Have O Blood Type
This one is debatable. Several studies, including the most recent published in the journal Experimental Parasitology, show that people with blood type O are more likely to get bitten. However Joseph M. Conlon, a technical adviser to the American Mosquito Control Association, has disputed some of the research, blaming “bad statistics.”

Goat Reaches Fruit By Balancing On A Donkey

Now this is true friendship! 
A donkey allows his goat friend to balance on top of him while reaching for fruit in a tree.

Animal Pictures


Beautiful Huge Dall Ram - Like A Painting (by AlaskaFreezeFrame)