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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.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Daily Drift

Yep, every word out of a repugican's mouth is a lie...!
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Non Sequitur


Today in History

902 The Aghlabid rulers of Ifriqiyah (modern day Tunisia) capture Taormina, Sicily.
1096 The crusaders under Peter the Hermit reach Constantinople.
1464 Piero de Medici succeeds his father, Cosimo, as ruler of Florence.
1664 The Turkish army is defeated by French and German troops at St. Gotthard, Hungary.
1689 James II's 15-week siege of Londonderry, Ireland, ends in failure.It was a shaken and demoralized English column that returned to its northern Irish base at Newry on the evening of May 28, 1595.
1740 Thomas Arne's song "Rule Britannia" is performed for the first time.
1759 British and Hanoverian armies defeat the French at the Battle of Minden, Germany.
1791 Robert Carter III, a Virginia plantation owner, frees all 500 of his slaves in the largest private emancipation in U.S. history. An 1839 mutiny aboard a Spanish ship in Cuban waters raised basic questions about freedom and slavery in the United States.
1798 Admiral Horatio Nelson routs the French fleet in the Battle of the Nile at Aboukir Bay, Egypt.
1801 The American schooner Enterprise captures the Barbary cruiser Tripoli.Often venturing into harm's way, America's most famous sailing ship, the Constitution, twice came close to oblivion.
1834 Slavery is abolished throughout the British Empire.
1864 Union General Ulysses S. Grant gives general Philip H. Sheridan the mission of clearing the Shenandoah Valley of Confederate forces.After nearly 10 months of trench warfare, Confederate resistance at Petersburg, Virginia, suddenly collapsed.
1872 The first long-distance gas pipeline in the U.S. is completed. Designed for natural gas, the two-inch pipe ran five miles from Newton Wells to Titusville, Pennsylvania.
1873 San Francisco's first cable cars begin running, operated by Hallidie's Clay Street Hill Railroad Company.
1880 Sir Frederick Roberts frees the British Afghanistan garrison of Kandahar from Afghan rebels.
1893 A machine for making shredded wheat breakfast cereal is patented.
1914 Germany declares war on Russia.
1937 The Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany becomes operational.The Nuremberg Trial brought high-ranking Nazis to justice.
1939 Synthetic vitamin K is produced for the first time.
1941 The Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo plane makes its first flight.
1942 Ensign Henry C. White, while flying a J4F Widgeon plane, sinks U-166 as it approaches the Mississippi River, the first U-boat sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard.
1943 Over 177 B-24 Liberator bombers attack the oil fields in Ploesti, Rumania, for a second time.
1944 The Polish underground begins an uprising against the occupying German army, as the Red Army approaches Warsaw.
1946 President Harry S Truman establishes Atomic Energy Commission.
1950 Lead elements of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division arrive in Korea from the United States.
1954 The Geneva Accords divide Vietnam into two countries at the 17th parallel.
1957 US and Canada create North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).
1960 Singer Chubby Checker releases "The Twist," creating a new dance craze. The song had been released by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters the previous year but got little attention.
1964 Arthur Ashe becomes the first African-American to play on the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team.
1966 Charles Whitman, shooting from the Texas Tower at the University of Texas, kills 16 people and wounds 31 before being killed himself.
1988 Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh begins his national radio show.
2004 In Asuncion, Paraguay, a fire in the Ycua Bolanos V supermarket complex kills nearly 400 people and injures 500.
2007 The I-35W bridge at Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapses into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145.

50 Words That Sound Rude But Actually Aren't

Once while giving a driving lesson, I told my daughter to quit pussyfooting around. She became highly offended that I would use such language, and didn’t learn a thing that day besides that her mother has a vulgar vocabulary. Oh, the things she has yet to learn. Anyway, “pussyfooting” wasn’t even rude enough to make this list of rude-sounding words that mean something completely different from what they sound like. Here’s a snippet:  
A dreamhole is a small slit or opening made in the wall of a building to let in sunlight or fresh air. It was also once used to refer to holes in watchtowers used by lookouts and guards, or to openings left in the walls of church towers to amplify the sounds of the bells.
According to one 19th century glossary of industrial slang, a fanny-blower or fanner was "used in the scissor-grinding industry," and comprised "a wheel with vanes, fixed onto a rotating shaft, enclosed in a case or chamber to create a blast of air." In other words, it’s a fan.
Fartlek is a form of athletic training in which intervals of intensive and much less strenuous exercise are alternated in one long continuous workout. It literally means "speed-play" in Swedish.
And those are just some of the more innocuous words from the list of 50 at mental_floss.

Man who filmed himself driving car while sitting in passenger seat given suspended jail sentence

A 20-year-old man who was arrested by police after posting a YouTube video of himself driving from the passenger seat on a highway near Barcelona has been given a six-month suspended sentence.

The Spanish-born student of French nationality was found guilty of reckless driving. That sentence will be dismissed if the young man does not break the law in the next two years.
He also had his driver's license suspended for a year. The man was arrested after posting a video of himself, yawning as he drove his vehicle from the passenger seat, at one point overtaking a truck.

Spanish police sent out a tweet asking for help in identifying the individual, and received 40 replies in 13 hours. The driver, who has not been named, was identified, and later turned himself in.



Inmates broke out of prison then broke back in after getting drunk

At least four prisoners in Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory are suspected of repeatedly escaping from the prison, getting drunk, then voluntarily returning to the facility in the hope no one would notice. It is understood authorities are checking whether low-security prisoners have repeatedly escaped from a work release center at Berrimah jail for a few hours after a 7pm headcount.
"It would appear that a couple of prisoners have jumped the fence but returned," a spokesman for NT Department of Correctional Services said. Authorities were believed to suspect the group, and possibly other prisoners, were from time to time jumping a cyclone fence, getting picked up from a main road by partners and given alcohol and marijuana, before breaking back into prison a few hours later.
The deception was eventually discovered shortly after midnight in the early hours of Sunday July 20 when five drunk prisoners were found fighting over a mobile phone. "It is alleged that four of the prisoners had earlier climbed a perimeter fence to retrieve contraband items from someone on the outside," the department spokesman said. He added the group "may have been out for a while" but that would become clear only after a police investigation. An internal departmental investigation was also underway, the spokesman said
"They [police] will come back with recommendations as to what charges will be laid," he said. "It will be up to police to determine what constitutes an escape." A search of the work release center uncovered several other items of contraband including two empty bottles of alcohol, five mobile phones, phone chargers, a small quantity of a "green leafy substance", a cigarette lighter and rolling papers. The men have since been transferred to the prison's maximum security section.

Cocoa Farmers Taste Chocolate

Small farmers in Ivory Coast find out what their cocoa beans are used for when they taste a chocolate bar for the first time. Chocolate is out of their reach economically, and cocoa beans aren’t much without the sugar, milk, and other ingredients. But how could it be possible that these farmers don’t even know about chocolate? A commenter explained that chocolate is not part of the tradition of West Africa.
I know its weird, but in West Africa a bunch of the stuff we produce is for export only. It wasn't part of the traditional food, thus people never cared to eat it, or even knew how to finish production of it. The raw materials are just sent off.

It's not just cocoa. We produce coffee but don't roast it or drink it. We produce mangos, but not mango shakes. Chicken, but the variety for export is considered 'too soft' for the local palette.
It’s touching that the first thing the farmer does is to gather his friends and show them what chocolate tastes like. However, the kids will only get to see the wrapper. The video is a clip from the Dutch show Metropolis. You can see the whole chocolate episode here. Oh, and if you begin listening to the video because you know French, be aware that most of it is in Dutch. You may still need subtitles.

China Creates Right-Angled Running Track

Sports officials in northeast China build a rectangular running track - with right angle corners - in order to ensure their stadium is ready for the visit of Communist Party leaders.
Stadium officials explained that their original track had once featured curves but said its rubber surface had become severely worn down from overuse. When senior Communist Party leaders recently announced plans for a last-minute visit to the stadium, a quick makeover suddenly became necessary. Painting right angles was faster than painting curves.

Why Are Cans Shaped That Way?

The metal can is an amazing work of food packaging. They are tough, long-lasting, and convenient. But how did we come to agree on the cylindrical shape of food cans? Nick Berry at Datagenetics takes a look at the many aspects of a simple design.

* The ratio of packaging materials to the volume of food.
* Structural integrity and strength.
* The ease of packing, stacking, shipping, and storing quantities of containers.
* Minimizing wasted space.
* The ease of manufacture.
* Usability for the consumer.
* Aesthetics.

Each of these aspects is studied, and since it is Datagenetics, there is some math involved. Who knew so much thought went into a can of soup? Still, everyone has something to complain about. My pet peeve is using my 1972 cook book that calls for 16-ounce cans of some ingredient and finding they are sold in 13- and 14-ounce sizes now. You’ll learn more than you ever thought you needed to know about food cans in this article.

Hide Your Conditioner Like A Pro - Literally

Central air conditioning is pretty much amazing -but the compressor units are one of the biggest eyesores on the backside of your house. That's why, over at Homes and Hues, we compiled two new solutions to hide those ugly units while still providing them with enough air flow to keep them running at maximum capacity.
While these are both professional designs, the top one looks easy enough for a particularly handy person to replicate, while the lower design could be great inspiration for a professional back yard redesign.
Check out more pictures over at Homes and Hues: Two More Alternatives For Hiding Your Air Conditioner

The bend in the Appalachian mountain chain is finally explained

A dense, underground block of volcanic rock (shown in red) helped shape the well-known bend in the Appalachian mountain range. The 1500 mile Appalachian mountain chain runs along a nearly straight line from Alabama to Newfoundland -- except for a curious bend in Pennsylvania and New York State. Researchers from the College of New Jersey and the University of Rochester now know what caused that bend -- a dense, underground block of rigid, volcanic rock forced the chain to shift eastward as it was forming millions of years ago.
According to Cindy Ebinger, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester, scientists had previously known about the volcanic rock structure under the Appalachians. "What we didn't understand was the size of the structure or its implications for mountain-building processes," she said.
The findings have been published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
When the North American and African continental plates collided more than 300 million years ago, the North American plate began folding and thrusting upwards as it was pushed westward into the dense underground rock structure -- in what is now the northeastern United States. The dense rock created a barricade, forcing the Appalachian mountain range to spring up with its characteristic bend.
The research team -- which also included Margaret Benoit, an associate professor of physics at the College of New Jersey, and graduate student Melanie Crampton at the College of New Jersey -- studied data collected by the Earthscope project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Earthscope makes use of 136 GPS receivers and an array of 400 portable seismometers deployed in the northeast United States to measure ground movement.
Benoit and Ebinger also made use of the North American Gravity Database, a compilation of open-source data from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The database, started two decades ago, contains measurements of the gravitational pull over the North American terrain. Most people assume that gravity has a constant value, but when gravity is experimentally measured, it changes from place to place due to variations in the density and thickness of Earth's rock layers. Certain parts of Earth are denser than others, causing the gravitational pull to be slightly greater in those places.
Data on the changes in gravitational pull and seismic velocity together allowed the researchers to determine the density of the underground structure and conclude that it is volcanic in origin, with dimensions of 450 kilometers by 100 kilometers. This information, along with data from the Earthscope project ultimately helped the researchers to model how the bend was formed.
Ebinger called the research project a "foundation study" that will improve scientists' understanding of Earth's underlying structures. As an example, Ebinger said their findings could provide useful information in the debate over hydraulic fracturing -- popularly known is hydrofracking -- in New York State.
Hydrofracking is a mining technique used to extract natural gas from deep in the Earth. It involves drilling horizontally into shale formations, then injecting the rock with sand, water, and a cocktail of chemicals to free the trapped gas for removal. The region just west of the Appalachian Basin -- the Marcellus Shale formation -- is rich in natural gas reserves and is being considered for development by drilling companies.

53 Surreal Places You Need to Visit Before You Die

There are many places on Earth that look other-worldly. Some are just beautiful and some are weird. You might not believe your eyes, but here are 53 surreal places you need to visit before you die.

Mars Rover Opportunity Breaks Record For Miles Roamed

The Mars rover Opportunity has outdone itself by driving further than any other off-Earth vehicle in history. NASA announced that the 10-year-old rover hit 25 miles, which breaks the previous record set by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover.
While often in the shadow of its popular sibling Curiosity, Opportunity has exceeded expectations by living on the inhospitable planet for more than 10 years. The rover landed on Mars in 2004 and has since been hard at work exploring the surface of the planet.

Daily Comic Relief


Man eventually requested help after python had spent five days on the dashboard of his car

A resident of Toonumbar in New South Wales, Australia, was ready to drive to work last week when he was surprised to find an intruder inside his car. A large python was settled on the dashboard.
He made the wise decision to open the doors and then keep his distance. He hoped that the snake would leave of its own accord. Fortunately he had another vehicle to get to work.
After five days, the python was still sunning itself on the dashboard, so the resident called WIRES. He advised them that the python’s body was the diameter of a wine bottle for most of its length. WIRES Northern Rivers reptile handlers responded to the call.
The python looked very much like it had moved in for winter and was a bit cranky about being disturbed. The 2.8m python was gradually coaxed from the vehicle and released on the property. The vehicle owner says the doors and windows will be firmly closed in future to keep out the same or other unwanted visitors.

Koala found clinging to car’s grille after 88km journey

A koala survived being hit by a car near Maryborough in Queensland, Australia, early on Friday morning only to be later discovered clinging to the car's grille at a service station approximately 88 kilometers (50 miles) down the road at Gympie. The koala, now named Timberwolf, was spotted by the Gympie taxi driver and his occupants when they stopped to refuel.
They then assisted in keeping the rather disheveled and startled marsupial from wandering onto the highway. Local veterinarian Geoff Collyer was called to the scene shortly after 2.30am. "It was very, very scared and very wide-eyed," Dr Collyer said. "It was making horrible noises at everybody who was trying to stop him from getting hit again. I took a big sheet to pull over him.
"You put it over them from behind so they can't get to you and you hold them by the shoulders and arms. You wrap them up like a tight little baby and they de-stress because it's nice and dark and snug." Later collected and taken to the Australian Wildlife Hospital at Australia Zoo, Dr Collyer says Timberwolf looked to be in good condition. "The crew from Australia Zoo came and confirmed they thought he was a juvenile," he said.
"Surprisingly he was looking really good later that morning. He didn't appear to have any broken bones and he was trying to find little things to eat - he was really quite bright." Dr Collyer says it's an amazing story of survival and one he will never forget. "There are plenty of urban myths about things jumping onto cars as they go past, and until you see it yourself you don't' really think it could ever happen," he said. "It's all part of the job - the good stories make it all worth it."

Kitten rescued after surviving typhoon has made remarkable recovery

After Typhoon Matmo hit Tapaei, Taiwan last Wednesday, Sean McCormack found this tiny kitten lying almost lifeless in the middle of a road.

Sean is a member of the Taiwanese animal rescue service and following a bath, the little kitten, now named Matmo, was looking a lot happier with himself.

And here he is a short time later.

Humpback whale surprises dog on beach

Foraging mammals pursue anchovies within 50 yards of shore in Monterey Bay, allowing for unique photo opportunities; "We've been so spoiled lately'
by Pete Thomas
Humpback whale surprises dog
Humpback whale surprises dog 50 yards from shore in Monterey Bay.
Still photographs are often more compelling than video because they capture a single moment in time.
The stunning image atop this post, captured Sunday by Kate Cummings near Moss Landing in California’s Monterey Bay, is a prime example:
The humpback whale has just lunged upward to capture a mouthful of anchovies and is about to sink back down. A woman on the beach takes a photo while her dog seems surprised by the sudden appearance of this gigantic creature.
It’s an outstanding image because it provides not only a detailed glimpse of a large whale in the act of surface lunge-feeding, but a sense of scale.
The images with this story also show the whales’ remarkable proximity to shore. This rare phenomenon began over the weekend, said Cummings, owner of Blue Ocean Whale Watch.
Before Sunday, the closest the humpbacks would come to shore was 100 yards. That’s more typical.
On Sunday, however, large schools of anchovies began to bunch up along the coast. The whales followed, coming as close as 50 yards, allowing people on the beach to attain up-close views previously attainable only by boaters.
“I think it has to do with the calmness of the ocean and the tides, plus the anchovies trying to seek refuge in shallow water—to no avail!” said Cummings, who provided the first three images with this story.
“We’ve been so spoiled lately,” Cummings continued. “The last few days our routine has been to first check out the whales lunge-feeding on anchovies along the beach, then head out a mile-and-a-half to groups of 10 to 12 humpbacks feeding together with hundreds of sea lions.
Humpback whale opens wide as two beachgoers watch in amazement
“There’s so much food in the area the whales have no reason to leave, so we’re seeing the same individuals day after day.”
Of the whale pictured atop this post, Cummings said:
“This whale in particular is one of the best lungers we’ve seen. She circles away from the beach, then heads in close to shore, arches her back, and then comes up lunge-feeding shortly afterwards. The whales have drawn a crowd at the beach, and I was hoping she’d come up near a beachgoer for a sense of scale. The alert dog was a bonus.”
Bianchetta posted the image to the company Facebook page Monday morning, beneath the caption:
“Anyone seen these women lately?”
Understandably, most images showing the coastal lunge-feeders are being widely shared and admired.

Animal Pictures