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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Daily Drift

 True dat ..!
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Today in History

1513 Henry VIII of England and Emperor Maximilian defeat the French at Guinegatte, France, in the Battle of the Spurs.
1777 France declares a state of bankruptcy.
1780 American troops are badly defeated by the British at the Battle of Camden, South Carolina.
1812 American General William Hull surrenders Detroit without resistance to a smaller British force under General Issac Brock.
1858 U.S. President James Buchanan and Britain's Queen Victoria exchange messages inaugurating the first transatlantic telegraph line.
1861 Union and Confederate forces clash near Fredericktown and Kirkville, Missouri.
1863 Union General William S. Rosecrans moves his army south from Tullahoma, Tennessee to attack Confederate forces in Chattanooga.
1896 Gold is discovered in the Klondike of Canada's Yukon Territory, setting off the Klondike Gold Rush.
1914 Liege, Belgium, falls to the German army.
1945 Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright, who was taken prisoner by the Japanese on Corregidor on May 6, 1942, is released from a POW camp in Manchuria by U.S. troops.
1965 The Watts riots end in south-central Los Angeles after six days.
1977 Elvis Presley dies of a heart attack in the upstairs bedroom suite area of his Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.
1984 The safe of the sunken ocean liner Andrea Doria is opened on TV after three decades, revealing cash and certificates but no other valuables.
1986 Sudanese rebels shoot down a Sudanese Airways plane, killing 57 people.
1987 Astrological alignment of sun, moon and six planets marks what believers maintain is the dawning of a New Age.
1988 IBM introduces artificial intelligence software.
1990 Iraq orders 2,500 Americans and 4,000 British nationals in Kuwait to Iraq, in the aftermath of Iraq's invasion of that country.
2012 In South Africa police fire on striking mine workers, killing at least 34.

Non Sequitur


Despite repugican Attempts To Kill It Social Security Stands Tall On Its 79th Anniversary

Happy Anniversary, Social Security! It’s been 79 years, and the American people love you.
Oh, and by the way, Democrats built that. Also, Democrats built some other things similar to Social Security… like Medicare and Obamacare.
Yes, Pelosi went there. That was the gist of Leader Nancy Pelosi’s statement Thursday on the anniversary of Social Security, a good reminder that Democrats have long advocated for programs for the people. It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) who signed the beloved Social Security program into law in 1935.
Leader Pelosi noted, “In the nearly eight decades since its enactment, Social Security has stood as a cornerstone of economic certainty for millions of America’s seniors and families. Together with Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, Social Security provides essential protection for the middle class. But there continue to be Congressional repugicans who put forward dangerous proposals to privatize or partially privatize Social Security, which would rob seniors of the economic security they count on.
“When Democrats created Social Security, we pledged to defend the right of our nation’s seniors to pursue a life of liberty and happiness. Democrats have stood by the promise of Social Security since its inception, and Democrats will continue to protect and strengthen Social Security for the generations to come.”
On January 17, 1935, FDR explained the Social Security legislation as something to help protect Americans from the hazards of life, “A recommendation for legislation to help protect Americans from the hazards of life.”
His words are especially poignant after the brutal recession that started in 2007. The Democratic President closed by saying, “We pay now for the dreadful consequence of economic insecurity – and dearly. This plan presents a more equitable and infinitely less expensive means of meeting these costs. We cannot afford to neglect the plain duty before us.”
This is why Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel pledged in a statement today, “House Democrats will continue to stand fast against repugicans’ efforts to undermine seniors’ vital lifeline and risk Americans’ retirement security through privatization. Rather, we must work together to protect and strengthen Social Security for both today’s seniors and for future retirees.”
Fortune Magazine was unimpressed with the repugican idea to “privatize” Social Security (aka, destroy Social Security). In 2010, when this was yet another hot campaign issue for the repugican cabal, they pointed out that the stock market has had “two 50%-plus drops in just over a decade” and you’d think this “would have shown conclusively the folly of retirees’ having to bet their eating money on the market.”
Why is privatizing Social Security such a turkey? Because retirees shouldn’t have to depend on the market’s vagaries for survival money. More than half of married couples over 65 and 72% of singles get more than half their income from Social Security, according to the Social Security Administration. For 20% of 65-and-up couples and 41% of singles, Social Security is 90% or more of their income. That isn’t projected to change.
It’s obscene that more media do not call out the ridiculous repugican idea of a Social Security that is not secure. Tying “security” to the stock market, especially after the last decade of two plunging markets under Bush, is an idea that should be laughed at.
This is not “security”, thus it is not a viable replacement or “reform” to Social Security. It is a different idea, and should be proposed properly as such, but then the main goal of destroying Social Security could not be achieved. Thus, the destroyers of “security” must keep presenting their idea as a “reform” when it is in fact a destruction.
Happy Anniversary, Social Security. May you be long funded and protected.

Domestic Terrorist Who Fired on First Responders Claims He Seceded from U.S. and Created ‘Doug-E-Stan’

"Dougie Doug LeGuin" from "Doug-E-Stan"
“Dougie Doug LeGuin” from “Doug-E-Stan”
On Monday afternoon a man from the Dallas area, Douglas Lee LeGuin, shot at police officers and firefighters with an AK-47 as they were responding to a fire.  Apparently he was at a home in far North Dallas (not his), threatening a nanny who had refused to let him in.  At that moment a Dallas fire department fire engine drove by, prompting LeGuin to fire at the engine, hitting it twice.
He also apparently shot at police officers as they arrived on scene.  When they arrived at the home they found several jars full of liquid and propane tanks.  A few had exploded, with LeGuin admitting to shooting at least one.
That’s about as “normal” as the story gets.
Apparently this individual holds extremely anti-government resentment and believed that he could secede from the United States.
And this is where it gets crazy.
In the 911 audio, Mr. LeGuin refers to himself as “Dougie Doug” from the newly formed nation of “Doug-E-Stan.”
I swear, this isn’t a story from The Onion. 
He apparently got fed up with this country and believed he could simply form his own.  Though I’m not really sure how that factors into him traveling to a random house with propane tanks and an AK-47 assault rifle to threaten a nanny.
He seems like just the kind of guy people like Sarah Palin and Fox News would love. That anti-government gun lover who’s sick and tired of that “oppressive federal government.”
According to Corinth Police Assistant Chief Greg Wilkerson (the suburb of Dallas where he actually lived), LeGuin’s wife called law enforcement officials early Monday afternoon, reporting her husband hadn’t gone to work and she couldn’t locate where he was.  She also reported that an AK-47 assault rifle, ammunition and propane tanks were missing from their home.
After initially opening fire on the first responders, he fled into the woods for several hours until he was eventually apprehended.
First reports linked him with a known domestic terrorist group known as the Sovereign Citizens movement.  They’re an extremely anti-government group who doesn’t recognize United States authority and believes that local county sheriffs are the most powerful law enforcement officials in the country.
Though as of yet, they haven’t officially linked him to any formal anti-government groups.
This is one of those stories that you feel bad laughing at, but you just can’t help it.  This entire situation could have turned out much worse considering this was an armed man with explosives who apparently had no respect for law enforcement.
Luckily he was apprehended and nobody was hurt.
Officials have charged “Dougie Doug from Doug-E-Stan” with seven counts of aggravated assault against a public servant and he’s being held on $350,000 bail.

If Boehner Wants To Sue The President, Obama Can Sue repugicans All Across The Country

obama-pointIf repugicans really want to play the lawsuit game, President Obama should forget John Boehner and sue repugicans nationwide.
President Obama can’t sue John Boehner for what he has done, or more accurately what he refuses to do in the House, but the president has another much more powerful tool at his disposal. If John Boehner wants to sue President Obama as a political stunt, the White House can up the ante by taking on the repugicans on the very real issue of gerrymandering.
Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice have been very active on these issues in the past, but as Thomas Geoghegan wrote in Politico Magazine, the federal government has the standing to sue and strike at the very heart of the House repugican caused gridlock.
Geoghegan explained how the lawsuits would work:
So it’s past time for the Obama administration to rouse itself. If it does file, it should file at least four separate suits in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and North Carolina, to name a few, all on the same day. Make it a call to battle. And be absolutely sure to sue in my own state of Illinois, where the Democrats did the gerrymandering—just to show fairness. Set a deadline. Issue a statement ahead of time: “Though it’s already prohibited by the Constitution, I call on Congress to pass a law to make gerrymandering of the House illegal. Let’s do it as California does. It has a Citizens Redistricting Commission, selected by the state auditor. No games: Let the people elect the people to the People’s House.”
Of course the repugican cabal will say no. Then go straight to court. There is a special federal statute for claims by the United States—use it. The claim of sovereignty—or lack of authority by the states—is just the right legal attack. Maybe under their own state constitutions, states have the power to monkey around with their own state legislative districts. That’s their business. But the Constitution gives them no such power to tip, much less rig, elections to the U.S. House. To be exact, under Article I, sections 2 and 4 of the U.S. Constitution, states have no power to draw district lines or otherwise act with the intent of favoring one class of candidates over another.
It’s what lawyers call a case of federal preemption. And just as the United States can sue to stop states that pass their own immigration laws and interfere with the exclusive federal power over immigration, so it can go after any kind of vote-tampering or attempt to influence federal elections.
Geoghegan argued that the White House would likely win in the Supreme Court because Anthony Kennedy voted against the state of Arkansas in a 1995 where they tried to term limit their members of the House of Representatives. Justice Kennedy sided with the majority in finding that state violated the Qualifications Clause of the Constitution. Theoretically, the federal government would use the same Qualifications Clause to sue Red and Blue states that are gerrymandering.
The repugicans have perfected the dark political art of gerrymandering, but by filing these suits the Obama administration could begin the process of ending the gridlock and handing the House of Representatives back to the American people. If repugicans want to play the lawsuit game, the White House has an option that could put an end to do the repugican controlled do nothing House once and for all.
The gerrymandered House districts that protect repugican incumbents must be dismantled, and John Boehner’s lawsuit has opened the door to the use of a legal weapons of mass repugican incumbency protection destruction.

Clueless wingnuts Blame Obama for the Militarization of the Police

Wingnuts blame Obama for the militarization of police departments, but the "1033 Program" has been around since 1997. …

obama.Obama hate is in high season, y’all.
Winguts now believe that the President not only runs local police departments, but is responsible for the overall militarization of police departments. This makes sense because this militarization is aimed at the very people who tend to vote Democratic (Occupy, unions, labor protests and minorities). Wait. No, this doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make any sense at all, which is why it is the perfect wingnut “belief”.

Fear Obama because he’s Hilter!!!!!!!!!!!!! You’ve been warned!!!111!!!!
On planet reality, the militarizing “1033 Program” has been around since 1997.
In 2011, Robert Johnson wrote for Business Insider:
1033 was passed by Congress in 1997 to help law-enforcement fight terrorism and drugs, but despite a 40-year low in violent crime, police are snapping up hardware like never before. While this year’s staggering take topped the charts, next year’s orders are up 400 percent over the same period.
This upswing coincides with an increasingly military-like style of law enforcement most recently seen in the Occupy Wall Street crackdowns.
Guess who passed it? Wait for it… Yes, Congress was led by repugicans in 1997. The repugicans took over Congress in 1994 with their “revolution” led by serial projector Newt Gingrich.
So it was very nice of Senator Rand Paul to “borrow” the idea from Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson to stop the militarization of the police, but that idea won’t pass “GO” without going after the contractors who sell the equipment, and Rand Paul can’t do that for obvious reasons. If the Senator were actually going after the moneyed interests that are feeding this problem across both sides of the aisle, liberals would be on board. But posing is so fun!
So dies another sad Obama Derangement Syndrome “belief” (aka, an opinion after it’s been debunked). But if you click your toes together five times super fast while chanting angrily, “Thanks, Obama!”, the repugican god will find something to blame POTUS for before the end of your evening.
Sleep well, patriots.

Paul Krugman exposes libertarianism's "foolish fantasy"

The New York Times columnist says the water contamination crisis in Toledo shows libertarianism's fatal flaw
In his latest column for the New York Times, best-selling author and award-winning economist Paul Krugman argues that the water contamination crisis in Toledo, Ohio, is a case-in-point for why libertarianism is fundamentally flawed, relying as it does on the "foolish fantasy" of overreaching Big Government.
"Is libertarian economics at all realistic?" Krugman asks, responding to yet another essay about libertarianism's supposedly imminent takeover of American politics. "The answer is no," he continues. "And the reason can be summed up in one word: phosphorus."
Krugman then turns his eyes toward Toledo, where residents are being discouraged from drinking their water due to phosphorus-caused toxic algae blooms in Lake Eerie. How'd the phosphorus get in there to begin with? Runoff from under-regulated farms.
"The point is that before you rage against unwarranted government interference in your life, you might want to ask why the government is interfering," Krugman writes. "Pollution controls are the simplest example" of justifiable government regulation, Krugman says, but it's hardly alone.

Standard & Poor's cuts Kansas credit rating, citing Brownback tax cuts

Sam Brownback has led Kansas into a wingnut tax-cut "experiment" with results that could perhaps be compared to the wingnut "experiment" in Iraq: chaos and failure to such a dramatic extent that it should rightfully disgrace all involved and discredit the underlying theories involved for approximately forever. You know, if we bothered to keep track of those things.
How bad is it? Bad enough that it's just taken another notch off the state's credit score.
Standard & Poor's Ratings cut the credit score for Kansas to AA from AA+ on Wednesday in another blow to the deep income tax cuts championed by repugican Governor Sam Brownback, who is struggling to keep his post in upcoming elections.
In a report explaining the downgrade, S&P said the Kansas budget is not structurally balanced and described a fiscal situation with very little breathing room. [...]
The agency also has a negative outlook for the state based on more tax cuts scheduled for future years, which it said could further damage the state's finances. It said the state expects receipts to fall by $682.3 million through the end of fiscal 2019 because of the cuts.
This deals another blow to Brownback's election-year insistence that all that economic growth and stability he promised is just around the corner, give or take another Friedman Unit. Don't hold your breath, though, because carting you off to the hospital afterwards might just break the Kansas budget completely.

Judge Rejects Puny Silicon Valley Wage-Fixing Settlement

We need more judges willing to stand up for the average guy
For years, tech giants like Apple, Google, and Adobe made secret agreements to avoid hiring rival talent, keeping salaries artificially suppressed. These companies almost got away with paying a tiny settlement-but that monetary mea culpa just got shot down.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh says the paltry payout just isn't enough, given that damages could have run into the billions:
Class members would receive an average of approximately $3,7506 from the instant settlement if the Court were to grant all requested deductions and there were no further opt-outs...The Court finds the total settlement amount falls below the range of reasonableness. The Court is concerned that Class members recover less on a proportional basis from the instant settlement with Remaining Defendants than from the settlement with the Settled Defendants a year ago, despite the fact that the case has progressed consistently in the Class's favor since then.
In other words, the evidence against Apple and company has been so vast, $300 million or so just won't cut it. The trove of emails, conversations, and testimonies unearthed during the suit make it clear that "other Defendants' CEOs maintained the anti-solicitation agreements out of fear of and deference to Mr. [Steve] Jobs."
Judge Koh says damages should not be any less than $380 million-and that still seems pretty light for an intricate conspiracy against employees of some of America's richest firms.

Second Religious Organization Condemns religio-wingnut Extremists

For the second time in two weeks, a religious organization has taken action and spoken out against religio-wingnut extremists, prominent political figures, and well-known "religious leaders" …
To bastardize something is to lower its condition or worth, or to debase something that is supposed to be inherently good and just. Despite bastardizing the christian religion into a hate-practicing delusion no better than extremist islamic fanaticism, it is still considered a mortal sin to utter an unkind word about the extremist religio-wingnuts no matter how despicable and vile their actions and speech become. Over the past week, the so-called “christian” religio-wingnuts openly expressed their version of christian hate toward gays, women, and medical professionals, and as usual the media, politicians, or most Americans terrified of violating the prohibition against condemning hate in jesus christ’s name have remained silent.
However, for the second time in two weeks, a religious organization has taken action and spoken out against religio-wingnut extremists, prominent political figures, and well-known “religious leaders” for manipulating christianity “in the name of god” to advance political and personal agendas of hate. Less than two weeks ago, Satanists whose faith is in line with jesus christ’s teachings took action against religio-wingnut extremists on behalf of women being subjected to “christian” domination. It led one to wonder when mainstream christians would find their voice and defend the faith as their namesake jesus christ taught it. Apparently, a very large and fast-growing group of christians have had enough of 'christian' extremism and are joining the war against the purveyors of hate working in jesus christ’s name.
The organization, Faithful America, first took umbrage at Sarah Palin’s comment at an NRA convention for telling the audience that “water-boarding is how we baptize terrorists.” Faith America immediately assailed Palin and created a petition condemning her for her comments. They said in part, “This is what we’ve come to in America: A former candidate for vice-president can equate torture and holy baptism, and one of the nation’s most powerful political lobbies erupts into cheers and applause.” The group is correct; the religio-wingnuts have equated all manner of torture, hate, and offense with the christian delusion the extremists have bastardized into a vile movement on par with extremist muslims crusading through Iraq and Syria.
Yesterday, in response to the news a baptist “man of god” canceled a funeral during a wake for a deceased man after learning he was gay, Faith America petitioned and condemned T.W. Jenkins to “show Pastor Jenkins, and the media who are covering the story, how many christians are appalled by how he’s misrepresenting our faith and hurting Julion Evans’s grieving family.” The baptist preacher refused to apologize and doubled-down on religio-wingnut hate and said his “cult plans to continue to stand on the word of god.” Faith America released a statement saying “Jenkins’ actions do not reflect the beliefs of all christians, nor the message of jesus christ.”
In their message to real christians, Faith America wrote “Julie Atwood was at her son’s wake, standing next to his casket, when she got the news: The cult was canceling the funeral because her son was gay. T.W. Jenkins of new hope missionary baptist cult in Tampa, Florida, told Julie that he’d read in the newspaper obituary that her son was married to another man and decided that holding the funeral would be blasphemous.” jesus christ would think otherwise, but as Faith America noted, Jenkins or his religio-wingnut fanatics do not reflect the message of jesus christ.
Faith America will also be appalled at catholics and religio-wingnts anti-women’s health agitators in Texas who conducted training sessions to teach other so-called christians how to stalk abortion providers and poor women seeking reproductive health services by recording their license plate numbers, make of car, and visits to family planning clinics in a “very sophisticated little spreadsheet.” The so-called christians, including the Fort Worth catholic diocese, told trainees the group is “searching” for one of two remaining OB-GYNs as part of their crusade to track the identities of abortion-providing doctors. The catholic diocese spokesman said, “We have been able to identify one in there and we’re still searching for the other.”
According to the National Abortion Federation, there have been four abortion-providing doctors killed, along with four more abortion clinic staffers, in anti-abortion clinic violence as a result of recording, stalking, and searching for OB-GYNs providing women with legal medical procedures related to their reproductive health. It is the religio-wingnuts' concept of “christianity.”
During the training, christians are heard celebrating their success at “having the sidewalk lined with agitators because it turns potential clients away because they don’t want to drive in when they see our presence there.” Another christian trainer said “abortionists are feeling the pressure” from anti-choice groups, and that she was proud to announce she identified the potential new location of an abortion-providing ambulatory surgical center in Austin. Yet another christian trainer boasted that “the ‘poorer ones,’ low-income Texans seeking abortion care—began going to the local Beaumont, Texas, crisis pregnancy center because they “didn’t have transportation to access a legal abortion facility. god is good.”
The executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas called the agitation tactics “stalking,” and said “The anti-abortion harassment tactics outlined in this disturbing training lead women to seek dangerous alternatives because if they reach a clinic they must confront the very real threat posed by these anti-abortion agitators.” Even NARAL, a women’s advocacy group is mortified to identify the “anti-abortion activists” for what they really are; fake christians intent on stalking, threatening, and harassing doctors and women seeking a legal medical procedure.
Faith America already has one petition slamming a so-called christian for “bragging about his “christian values,” which include fear-mongering about “homosexual Boy Scout leaders” and “posting the names of abortion providers online so they can be threatened and harassed.” They will likely be as appalled at the fake christians in Texas stalking women and medical providers as they were at a baptist preacher canceling a gay man’s funeral or Sarah Palin claiming torture is akin to holy baptism. Whether any American is a christian or not, they should take heart that Faithful America is standing up against the religio-wingnuts to ‘reclaim christianity’ from terrorists using jesus’ name as motivation for vile hate
It is long past time the “real” christians speak out against the extremist religio-wingnuts for their crusade of hate against anyone who fails to comply with their bastardized christian edicts. It should not be left to non-christians such to condemn so-called christians preaching, spreading, and inciting hatred in jesus christ’s name. For the record, these religio-wingnuts are NOT christians; just hateful malcontents claiming christianity as their purview to create pain and misery for the rest of the nation; particularly women and gays. It took courage for Faith America, and Satanists, to finally speak out and take action against the terrorists that are the American religio-wingnuts, because they are no different than muslim extremists terrorizing Syria, Iraq, and Kurds for failing to comply with their demands.

Random Celebrity Photos

Habitual offender told judge he goes to prison on purpose so he can study

Jail has been a real education for habitual offender Todd Bontrager. "I went to jail on purpose, to study," he told a judge in Florida on Thursday. He was promptly given the opportunity to further advance his curriculum. Bontrager, 47, was at a first appearance hearing to answer a charge of trespassing, in which he was accused of trying doors at a Fort Lauderdale cult. Bontrager, a defendant with a history of stealing and convictions dating back to 2001, and an open charge of felony theft pending, wanted to make one thing clear to County Judge John "Jay" Hurley.
"All my arrests were intentional, just to study," the self-proclaimed psychology student said. "I went to jail on purpose to study. I came here on purpose. I waited for the police. I waited for the police on all my arrests. I went to jail on purpose, for 13 years of my life." "You went to prison on purpose?" asked an incredulous Hurley. "Incarceration improves your concentration abilities," came the reply.
Hurley then ordered Bontrager held on $1,000 bond on the trespass charge, but revoked bond on the open theft count, effectively keeping him behind bars. "I'm going to keep you in jail so you can further concentrate," he said. Bontrager was upset. "You're not gonna let me go?" he asked. "You're going to have plenty of time to concentrate on this case," the judge replied.
You can see video of Mr Bontrager's court appearance here or here.

Woman arrested after throwing bricks at father-in-law's windows 'because it was fun'

Cpl. B. Connelly of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office in Maryland responded to an address in Leonard town on Saturday for the report of a property destruction.
Upon his arrival he located Michelle Waro, 43 of Lexington Park walking from the rear of the residence laughing telling Cpl. Connelly “take me away because of this”. According to Cpl. Connelly’s statement of probable cause, the victim was seated in the living room of his residence and heard a window shatter and observed a brick flying through the window.
He along with the other victims inside the residence ran into the dining room where there are no windows and called the police. They continued to hear several more windows shatter around the residence and observed his daughter-in-law, Michelle Waro holding a landscaping brick from his flower bed as she continued to throw more bricks.
The suspect shattered a total of 9 windows throughout the house and the windows on two pick-up trucks in the driveway causing an estimated $8,000 worth of damage. Once the defendant was placed under arrest she told Cpl. Connelly “this was fun and they are a bunch of bitches.” Waro was charged with three counts of reckless endangerment and two counts of property destruction over $1,000.

Man arrested after swinging miniature baseball bat at resident during home invasion

A southern Indiana man armed with a miniature Louisville Slugger baseball bat was arrested early on Monday after a resident in Bloomington reported a man had attempted to enter the his locked front door at around 2am.
The man living at the house opened the door and found the man was armed with the small wooden bat.
The resident attempted to run the man off and that is when the man, took a swing at him with the bat. While waiting for police to arrive, the resident reported the man began throwing rocks at him.
Police arrested 31-year-old Anthony Allbritten on charges of residential entry and intimidation. Allbritten told police he thought he was entering a friend's home. Allbritten remains at the Monroe County Jail on a $10,500 bond.

Faking it to be Real

Presenting an authentic image on social network sites (SNSs) includes […]

Itchy Cancer

Asking patients if a suspicious skin lesion is painful or […]

Amazing Aerial Tramways Of The World

An aerial tramway, or cable car, is a type of aerial lift which uses one or two stationary ropes for support while a third moving rope provides propulsion. With this form of lift, the grip of an aerial tramway cabin is fixed onto the propulsion rope and cannot be decoupled from it during operations.
The first aerial tram was built in 1644 by Adam Wiebe, a Dutch engineer and inventor born in Harlingen. It was used to move soil to build defences. Other mining systems were developed in the 1860s by Hodgson, and Andrew Smith Hallidie. Hallidie went on to perfect a line of mining and people tramways after 1867 in California and Nevada.




The Haunting Alaskan Ghost Village Clinging To An Inhospitable Cliff Face
Ukivok, the rugged, abandoned stilt village on Alaska's King Island is one of the world's most isolated and impressive ghost towns.
Clinging precariously to the face of a sheer cliff that overhangs the unforgiving Bering Sea some 40 miles west of Cape Douglas, the enigmatic wooden ruins were once home to several hundred native Inupiat hunter-gatherers known as Aseuluk, or 'people of the sea,'

Top 20 Technological Screw-Ups Of The 20th Century

In a century crammed to bursting with screw-ups, it's difficult to choose a mere twenty that stand out. Inevitably and unfairly, several hundred thousand worthy achievements were left out.

The people mentioned here had reasons - in many cases very good reasons - for doing what they did. These screw-ups can serve as fodder for thought, argument, or pure, unabashed wonder.

Chianti's origins

The ancestor of Chianti wine may have been found in this ancient 105-foot-deep well in the Chiantishire region of Tuscany.
The ancestor seeds of Chianti wine were found in an ancient well in Tuscany.

Pyramid-Shaped Tomb Revealed in Japan

The Asahi Shimbun reports that archaeologists excavating a sixth-century A.D. tomb mound in Japan's Nara Prefecture believe it was shaped like a step pyramid. The tomb, which stands more than fifteen feet at its highest, once probably held the remains of the powerful clan leader Soga no Iname, who was the grandfather of three emperors. Previous digs at the site had done little to clarify the construction of the tomb, but Kansai University Archaeological Research Institute researchers were able to expose stone-lined steps that would have given the monument an unusual pyramid-like appearance. “Archaeologists and experts checked to see if there are any similarly structured tombs in Japan, but there is nothing like it," an Asuka municipal official told the Wall Street Journal. "The tomb is unique.” The archaeologists were also able to determine the tomb had a stone-lined moat.

Archaeology News

A 22,000-year-old mastodon skull and tool dredged from the seafloor in the Chesapeake Bay hints of early settlers in North America.

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10 Mysterious Noises That Science Can't Explain

Some sounds just can't be explained. No matter how much we analyze, test or scrutinize, there are just no answers forthcoming. While the following sounds all have theories surrounding them, the lack of conclusive proof has made them baffling, bizarre mysteries that have fascinated both scientists and laymen.

Dust in Intersteller Space

Seven tiny grains captured by Stardust likely visitors from interstellar space

The Stardust mission has, with the help of thousands of […]

Police who responded to report of chicken crossing road unable to determine its intent

On Monday at 5:45 pm, officers from North Precinct in Portland, Oregon, responded to the report of a chicken crossing Highway 30 in Linnton.
A caller had reported to the non-emergency line that there was a chicken on the highway.
The caller said that the chicken was creating a traffic hazard while trying to cross the road.
Responding officers were unable to locate the chicken and were thus unable to determine its intent. Fortunately there were no traffic accidents related to the incident.

Lion cub led forest rangers to mother’s dead body at Indian sanctuary

A lion cub has led forest rangers to its mother's corpse in an Indian sanctuary, an act described by officials as very unusual behavior. A forest guard, who saw the cub hiding in the bushes, followed it and went on to discover the body on a nearby hill. The cub then guarded his mother until the ranger returned with forest and police officials to remove the carcass. A post-mortem suggests the lioness died in a fight with other animals, possibly a herd of water buffalo.
Deputy Conservator of Forests in Gir, Anshuman Sharma, said the cub's behavior was "rare" and "very peculiar" - something he had not encountered in his many years of watching lions. Gir in Gujarat state is home to Asiatic lions and, according to the last census done in 2010, there are 411 lions in the sanctuary. "On Saturday afternoon, I was patrolling the Tulsi-Shyam range of the sanctuary when I saw a cub hiding in the bushes," forest guard Rana Mori said. Such small cubs are never found alone, they are generally accompanied by their mother and Mr Mori says he started looking for the lioness.
"I followed the cub which led me to its mother's body lying on a small hillock. The mother was called Rupa [the beautiful one]. It initially looked like she was sleeping, but when it didn't move, I prodded it with my stick. That's when I discovered that the lioness was dead," he said. When Mr Mori returned with a team of officials to remove the carcass, they found the cub still sitting near the body. The lioness, who was about 11 years old, had broken ribs and internal injuries and died from a hemorrhage, Mr Sharma said. Lion expert Yadvendra Dev Jhala of the Wildlife Institute of India said that he had never heard of a similar incident involving a lion cub.
But he says that in Gir there has been very little conflict with humans and "lions generally know their individual guards well". Mr Sharma says lions are known for their social behavior: "They are not like dogs, they won't shake paws or wag tails, but we believe they recognize guards they see every day." Wildlife officials say cubs are totally dependent on their mothers for survival until the age of two-and-a-half to three years. The cub, only 15 months old, is now under the constant observation of forest officials. "Its mother, Rupa, seemed to be a loner who lived and hunted alone, But now that the lioness is gone, we expect the cub to join another group, or another lioness may start looking after it," Mr Sharma said.

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