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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.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Daily Drift

 So, true ..!
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Today in History

1129 The warrior Yoritomo is made Shogun without equal in Japan.
1525 Estavao Gomes returns to Portugal after failing to find a clear waterway to Asia.
1794 France surrenders the island of Corsica to the British.
1808 Napoleon Bonaparte's General Junot is defeated by Wellington at the first Battle of the Peninsular War at Vimiero, Portugal.
1831 Nat Turner leads a slave revolt in Southampton County, Virginia that kills close to 60 whites.
1858 The first of a series of debates begins between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Douglas goes on to win the Senate seat in November, but Lincoln gains national visibility for the first time.
1863 Confederate raiders under William Quantrill strike Lawrence, Kansas, leaving 150 civilians dead.
1864 Confederate General A.P. Hill attacks Union troops south of Petersburg, Va., at the Weldon railroad. His attack is repulsed, resulting in heavy Confederate casualties.
1915 Italy declares war on Turkey.
1942 U.S. Marines turn back the first major Japanese ground attack on Guadalcanal in the Battle of Tenaru.
1944 The Dumbarton Oaks conference, which lays the foundation for the establishment of the United Nations, is held in Washington, D.C.
1945 President Harry S. Truman cancels all contracts under the Lend-Lease Act.
1959 Hawaii is admitted into the Union.
1963 The South Vietnamese Army arrests over 100 Buddhist monks in Saigon.
1968 Soviet forces invade Czechoslovakia because of the country's experiments with a more liberal government.
1972 US orbiting astronomy observatory Copernicus launched.
1976 Mary Langdon in Battle, East Sussex, becomes Britain's first firewoman.
1976 Operation Paul Bunyan: after North Korean guards killed two American officers sent to trim a poplar tree along the DMZ on Aug. 18, US and ROK soldiers with heavy support chopped down the tree.
1986 In Cameroon 2,000 die from poison gas from a volcanic eruption.
1988 Ceasefire in the 8-year war between Iran and Iraq.
1989 Voyager 2 begins a flyby of planet Neptune.
1991 Communist hardliners' coup is crushed in USSR after just 2 days; Latvia declares independence from USSR.
1994 Ernesto Zedillo wins Mexico's presidential election.
1996 The new Globe theater opens in England.
2000 Tiger Woods wins golf's PGA Championship, the first golfer to win 3 majors in a calendar year since Ben Hogan in 1953.
2001 NATO decides to send a peacekeeping force to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Non Sequitur


Editorial Comment

We had a wee bit o'extra time today so we decided to post the ol'30 post edition of Carolina Naturally today.

Over the years people have asked why 'Carolina Naturally' is the title of this blog and we have answered before, but it has been a while and people still ask - so here's the answer, again ...
When all the Gods were asked where they preferred to live they all said as one "Carolina, naturally!", thus was born  the title.

Wingnuts Suggest Armed Rebellion If They Can’t Impeach President Obama

A great many wingnuts have expressed their hatred of democracy by threatening a civil war, government overthrow, and armed rebellion against the federal government …
If one listens carefully to wingnut devotees, especially those on the lunatic fringe (the entirety of the movement), a perpetual refrain is their staunch belief in liberty, the U.S. Constitution, revolution-era America, the Founding Fathers, and religious freedom. What one never hears a repugican, teabagger, or their religio-wingnut extremist brethren say they believe in, champion, or swear to defend is democracy. It might seem curious how one can be a so-called ardent defender of the Constitution and claim loyalty to America and yet despise what is really the basic foundation of this country, democracy, but when one considers why they hate the democratic process, it is painfully obvious they hate the Constitution and America.
It is irrefutable that since January 2009, repuicans revealed they hate democracy by meeting in secret and plotting to subvert any and every attempt by the newly-elected President to lift America out of the repugican-caused economic disaster or govern in any way. It is true their racial bias informed their obstructionism, but their goal was to teach the American people that if they did participate in the democratic process and elected the wrong candidate, repugicans would make them pay and bring governance to a halt; something they have continued unabated throughout President Obama’s tenure in the White House.
A great many wingnuts have expressed their hatred of democracy by threatening a civil war, government overthrow, and armed rebellion against the federal government because they cannot comport the democratic process that elected an African American man as President. It is no exaggeration to reason that if they were able, repugicans and their teabagger cohort deeply desire to nullify the past two elections to erase the people’s choice for President from the historical record. Now, repugicans and teabaggers lust to remove the people’s choice for President through the impeachment process; anything to nullify the result of Americans participating in democracy that resulted in the Presidency of Barack Obama.
In 2012, a Virginia repugican coven newsletter openly called for armed rebellion if President Obama was re-elected to a second term, and as obscene a display of disdain for democracy as that was, and it was obscene, another repugican stated last week that if repugicans failed to impeach and remove President Obama from office, wingnuts' only recourse was preparing for armed rebellion. The repugican is  Tom Tancredo who again called on House repugicans to impeach the President and warned that if “repugicans are afraid to challenge presumptuous dictatorial behavior, then the war is already lost and we should stock up our ammunition shelves and join a militia.”
There can be no mistaking Tancredo’s reiteration of rebellion against the government is solely because Americans elected an African American man as President. There is no reason to claim “the war is already lost” or that “we should stock up our ammunition shelves and join a militia” unless the only recourse to nullifying the people’s vote is violence against the government. That is the overriding mission of a very substantial number of “official” and unofficial state militias listed here and here, and they are not even the white supremacist anti-government extremist groups that exploded after President Obama was elected to his first term.
However, an overriding theme in the great majority of “official” state militias is their willingness to violently oppose U.S. government tyranny due to their belief it is imposing a “socialist” agenda and robbing them of their freedoms; a recurring theme of wingnut militants yearning for a “second revolutionary war” and rebellion against the government with an African American President. There were no calls for violent rebellion against the government when the shrub was the pretender and there have been no socialist policies put in place during Obama’s Presidency. The repugicans and their wingnut cabal just cannot tolerate the democratic process when the people elect the “wrong” leader, so decrying tyranny and socialism is a clarion call to prepare for war against the government as “legitimate Constitutional militias” Tom Tancredo claims are necessary if repugicans do not impeach President Obama.
To be fair, some of the official-type militias do tout their organization’s intent to assist citizens in time of disaster, but they are in the minority and still champion their militia as defense against “domestic enemies” in government. A sampling of a few “state militias” reveals that they are preparing for violence against government such as one California militia that states, “We have read the writing on the wall and said “Hell no!” “Hell no, I’m not giving up my country, not to the socialists, and not without a fight!” A Georgia militia claims, “As you all know times are getting worse, but we as patriots don’t have a choice but to stand and fight. It is up to us to defend what others won’t!!”
A Kentucky militia claims its purpose is “to salvage and defend our rights as guaranteed to us by our founding fathers,” because they are “disappointed in the current state of our great country because our personal freedoms and way of life are rapidly vanishing.” The list goes on and on, but one thing vacant from the various militia statements is how their personal freedoms and way of life have been abridged, or how socialism has been manifest as an imposition on their constitutional freedoms; because they have not. All the claims of loss of liberty, freedoms, and socialism are recurring themes of conservatives that began appearing within days of Barack Obama’s inauguration.
After five-and-a-half years, most Americans get it; wingnuts are furious that the democratic process produced an African American President and that they are willing to use any means to nullify his election whether it is impeachment, a repugican house lawsuit, or joining a militia to fight a war against the legally elected federal government. That is one of the main differences between wingnuts and liberals; accepting the results of democracy and going forward for the good of the nation and well-being of the people.
Despite the shrub’s junta blatantly lying to take the country to war, outing an active CIA field agent, and committing war crimes, there were no calls from the left to “stock up our ammunition shelves and join a militia,” or the Democrat Party calling for armed rebellion if the shrub was 're-elected'. But then again liberals do not hate democracy like repugicans and it calls into question the various militias, repugican, and un-American malcontents’ devotion to America because if they hate democracy, then they truly hate the Founding Fathers’ Constitution as much as they do the people’s choice of President.

The Truth Be Told

Faux News Goes Full Racist With Claim That Michael Brown Was High On Drugs When Killed

Faux News smeared a dead unarmed African-American teen Monday by claiming that Michael Brown may have been high on drugs when he was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer.
Faux News’ Jim Pinkerton had a conspiracy theory about Ferguson that hit on all of the conservative myths and boogeymen. Pinkerton claimed Attorney General Eric Holder is against the Ferguson Police and was trying to cover-up evidence that would have helped the police. Pinkerton later claimed that Brown charged at the cops, and the media is covering it up because the media wants a riot and violence.
fox-racist-1Pinkerton’s topper came near the end of the segment when he said, “Ask the Secret Service what would happen if an individual who was six foot four and two hundred and ninety pounds went charging anywhere near the direction of the president. I suspect they’d put a lot more than six bullets in him….There are eyewitness who say he was charging. The autopsies are inconclusive. Again, Eric Holder will call for a third autopsy, a fourth, a fifth, and a tenth until he gets the results that he wants….We’ll know more with a blood test. If he was high on some drug, angel dust or PCP or something then we’ll know. That’s entirely possible, entirely possible, you can take a lot more than six bullets and keep charging.”
Alan Colmes tried to be the non-racist voice of sanity, but this Faux News so the segment was destined to go to the racist dumpster. There is less than zero evidence that Michael Brown was on drugs. The evidence gathered from an autopsy done at the request of the Brown family supports the claim that the eighteen-year-old was trying to surrender when he was shot.
The facts contradict the wild and racist theory that Michael Brown was high on drugs and charged the police. Faux News did this very same type of victim smearing after George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. Faux News, especially Sean Hannity, did their best to smear Martin as a gang banging, drug using thug, who deserved to be shot and killed.
On a deeper level, Faux News is using the killing of Michael Brown to spread more race based fear and hatred. It’s all about keeping the Faux News audience afraid and angry with the hope that they will take out that fear and anger on President Obama and Democrats. Faux News was practicing the vilest form of political division imaginable, and they had no qualms about smearing the memory of a dead teenage boy.
The lesson here is that there is no such thing as a low that Faux News can’t reach.

New Flag


9 Parenting Practices That Haven't Caught on in the United States

Japanese children as young as 4 ride the subway by themselves. Vietnamese mothers teach their babies to pee on command. These are 2 of 9 parenting practices from around the world that aren't practiced--or at least widely practiced--in the United States. For example, the Kisii people of Kenya avoid eye contact with their babies:
Kisii, or Gussii, moms in Kenya carry their babies everywhere, but they don't indulge a baby's cooing. Rather, when their babies start babbling, moms avert their eyes.
It's likely to sound harsh to a Western sensibility, but within the context of Kisii culture, it makes more sense. Eye contact is an act bestowed with a lot of power. It's like saying, "You're in charge," which isn't the message parents want to send their kids. Researchers say Kisii kids are less attention-seeking as a result.
You can read the entire list at NPR. Do you see any that you think that American parents should adopt?

James Joyce's poor health

"One summer evening in 1917, James Joyce was walking down a street in Zurich when he developed a pain in his right eye so severe he couldn’t move. A bystander helped him to a nearby bench, where he gazed at halos around the streetlights. After twenty minutes, he was able to pull himself onto a tram and make his way home. Joyce was suffering from glaucoma brought on by acute anterior uveitis, an inflammation of the iris, which had eroded his optic nerves. He’d had two previous “eye attacks,” as he called them—the first in 1907—and now allowed a surgeon to cut away a small piece of his iris. Nora Barnacle, Joyce’s partner, wrote to Ezra Pound that Joyce’s eye was still bleeding painfully ten days on. Joyce’s attacks recurred intermittently for the next twenty years, and in that time he had about a dozen eye surgeries. By the age of forty-eight, he was essentially blind. The origin of Joyce’s decades-long battle with uveitis has never been definitively named. Before penicillin’s introduction, in the 1940s, the most common cause was syphilis (uveitis is now most often associated with autoimmune disorders), and Joyce began visiting prostitutes at age fourteen. Was his affliction sexually transmitted?"
An answer is offered in Harper's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Syphilitic.  I find the new information about his use of galyl (phospharsenamide) to be convincing.

Health and Well Being News

A new mother in Oregon wants to breastfeed her baby even though she regularly smokes marijuana, but experts are concerned about the risks of the drug to the baby's brain.
Trace takes us on a stomach-churning roundup of the world of foodborne illnesses.
A drug already used to treat people with other conditions could restore hair growth in patients with one disease that can cause hair loss.

Ah, weekends ... our dear repose from the chaos of Monday through Friday. But are we fooling ourselves? A new study, and some "I don't like Mondays" rats, have together cast doubt on the idea of a weekend's restorative powers.
A doctor believes text neck is a global epidemic that is literally changing the way our bodies should grow.

Random Photos

What Is Sharia Law?

We hear a lot these days about "Sharia," in relation to groups like the Taliban and ISIS. Tara examines life lived under its tenets.

Teenager addicted to snake venom arrested for possession of cannabis

A teenager arrested by an Excise team in Kerala, south India on Sunday with 50 grams of cannabis (ganja) has admitted to taking snakebites regularly for getting a high. Excise Circle Inspector B. Suresh who led the team said that 19-year-old Mahinshah, from Keralapuram on the outskirts of Kollam city, regularly traveled to Irumbanam in Ernakulam to get the kick from snake venom. Mahinshah went for snake venom whenever he felt that cannabis was not providing him the required high. For each bite he paid amounts ranging from Rs. 1,000 (£10, $17) to Rs. 2,500 (£25, $42). He told the Excise officers that it was a small snake that remained comfortably coiled in a 200 ml bottle. The snake bites when it is softly pressed. The bite was administered under the tongue. He said its effects lasted for five to six days.
Mr. Suresh said that the owner of the snake has been identified and would be arrested soon. The species of the snake used has not identified. But given its description it is suspected to be from the drysdalia species of the elapid family of venomous snakes. Mr. Suresh said the disclosure by Mahinshah showed that many who had been abusing narcotic substances for years could be moving over to snake venom to get a high.
For a long time there have been reports that a section of snake-catchers are trading in snake venom. The reports also say that the venom which is ‘milked’ from snakes could reach the drug cartels that dilute it and sell as narcotic substances for the addicts. Mahinshah allegedly confessed that he got in touch with the snake owner after searching the internet for ways to get new highs. He will soon be appearing before magistrates in court.

Man posed for new mug shot wearing t-shirt with photo of his old mug shot

A 19-year-old man from Maine last week posed for a jail booking photo while wearing a t-shirt with a reproduction of the mug shot taken of him after a June arrest for drunk driving. Robert Burt was arrested for operating under the influence and driving without a license. Burt, a resident of the central Maine town of Pittsfield, posed for a June 14 booking photo at the Somerset County Jail. He was wearing a white t-shirt and held a slate in his right hand.
Burt was ordered to spend two days in custody, beginning on August 8 at 6pm. “Going to do my 48 hours whoo,” Burt announced on Facebook two hours before surrendering. When he later arrived at the jail, Burt was searched, directed to pose for a mug shot, and shown to a cell. He was especially prepared for the booking photo session. A coworker of Burt’s at a Pittsfield restaurant had created a shirt with a reproduction of the booking photo taken following his mid-June arrest.
The t-shirt photo was captioned “Burt Family Reunion 8/8-8/10/2014” and “sponsored by Bud Light and Somerset County Sheriff.” Beneath Burt’s mug shot was a second image showing a cat sitting on a couch flanked by a TV remote and a bottle of Bud Light. The cat photo, was too far down the shirt to be captured by the jail’s mug shot camera. Burt, who happily wore the orange shirt for his jail photo, subsequently wrote on Facebook that corrections officers made him hold the slate in a way “so you could see the shirt.”
He added, “They laughed there asses off haha.” The shirt’s mention of a family reunion is an apparent reference to an incarcerated Burt relative. Following his 48 hours in jail, Burt emerged from the Somerset County lockup last Sunday evening and went to Facebook to share the good news with friends. “I’m out bitchs,” he wrote. Two days later, he delivered a glowing review of his jail photo. “Probably the best mug shot ever haha,” Burt decreed.



A Brief History Of USB

What It Replaced, And What Has Failed To Replace It
Universal Serial Bus (USB) is an industry standard developed in the mid-1990s that defines the cables, connectors and communications protocols used in a bus for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and electronic devices.
Like all technology, USB has evolved over time. Despite being called 'universal', in its 18-or-so years on the market it has spawned multiple versions with different connection speeds and many, many types of cables. The group of companies that oversees the standard is fully cognizant of this problem, which it wants to solve with a new type of cable dubbed Type-C.

Is This The Weirdest Aircraft Ever?

The Gyroptère - or monocopter - is even weirder than the beloved starfighter from Star Wars. It had a single blade - the long wing you can see in white - which rotated to lift it to the skies.
The Gyroptère was designed in 1913–1914 by Alphonse Papin and Didier Rouilly in France, inspired by a maple seed. Testing was delayed due to the outbreak of World War I and did not take place until 31 March 1915 on Lake Cercey on the Côte-d'Or. Unfortunately, the aircraft became unstable and the pilot had to abandon it, after which it sank.

Old Family Photos

Roman Gold Coin Discovered in Sweden

For three years archaeologists have been digging at a site on the island of Öland looking for evidence of the Migration Period of Scandinavian history, between A.D. 400 to 550. According to a report in the Local, the team recently found the first Roman gold coin to be uncovered in an archaeological context on the site. The coin, a denomination called a solidus, was discovered in a house where several people had been killed. Researchers believe that it may have been dropped and left behind by thieves who had come to rob the house, and then murdered its residents. “I think that the money was a good excuse to end a feud. So there was probably a feud, this was a very strong statement, not just a normal robbery—an excruciatingly evil statement to kill these people and just leave them," project manager Helena Victor told the paper.

Rollin’ Bones

The History of Dice  
The next time you find yourself rolling a pair of dice, know that you’re tapping into something primordial- keeping alive an ancient tradition that began long before recorded history.

Archaeologists can’t pinpoint the first human who threw dice, but they do know this: Unlike many customs that started in one place and then spread, dice-throwing appeared independently all across the populated world. The oldest known dice -dating back at least 8,000 years- consisted of found objects such as fruit pits, pebbles, and seashells. But the direct precursors of today’s dice were bone: the ankle bones of hoofed animals, such as sheep and oxen. These bones -later called astragali by the  Greeks- were chosen because they are roughly cube-shaped, with two rounded sides that couldn’t be landed on, and four flat ones that could. Which side would be facing up after a toss, or a series of tosses, was as much a gamble to our ancestors as it is to us today.
The first dice throwers weren’t gamers, though -they were religious shamans who used astragali (as well as sticks, rocks, or even animal entrails) for divination, the practice of telling the future by interpreting signs from the gods. How did these early dice make their way from the shaman to the layman? According to David Schwartz in Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling:
The line between divination and gambling is blurred. One hunter, for example, might say to another, “If the bones land short side up, we will search for game to the south; if not, we look north,” thus using the astragali to plumb the future. But after the hunt, the hunters might cast bones to determine who would go home with the most desirable cuts.
And with that, gambling -and dice gaming- was born, leading to the next big step in dice evolution. Around 7,000 years ago, ancient Mesopotamians carved down the rounded sides of the astragali to make them even more cube-like. Now they could land on one of six sides, allowing the outcome to become more complex. As their technology advanced, materials such as ivory, wood, and whalebone were used to make dice.
It is believed that the shamans were the first ones to make marks on the sides of the dice, but it didn’t take long for them to roll into the rest of society. Dice first appeared in board games in Ur, a city in southern Mesopotamia. Now referred to as the “Royal Game of Ur,” this early version of backgammon (circa 3,000 BC) used four-sided, pyramidal dice.
However, the most common dice, then and now, are six-sided cubic hexahedrons with little dots, or pips, to denote their values. The pip pattern still in use today -one opposite six, two opposite five, and three opposite four- first appeared in Mesopotamia circa 1300 BC, centuries before the introduction of Arabic numerals.

In the first millennium BC, civilizations thrived in Greece, India, and China- and they all threw dice.  In Rome, it was common for gamblers to call out the goddess Fortuna’s name while rolling a 20-sided die during a game of chance. But they had to do it quietly -dice games were illegal in Rome (except during the winter solstice festival of Saturnalia). Not that that stopped anyone from playing it: One surviving fresco depicts two quarreling dicers being thrown out of a public house by the proprietor.
* When General Julius Caesar led his army across the Rubicon River to attack Rome in 49 BC -which set in motion his rise to power- he knew that there was no turning back, proclaiming, ”Lea iacta est.” Translation: “The die is cast.”
* Later Roman leaders were also dice aficionados, including Mark Antony, Caligula (he was notorious for cheating), Claudius, Nero, and Commodus, who built special dicing rooms in his palace.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, many of civilization’s advancements and inventions fell out of use. Not dice, though- their use continued through the Middle Ages, being one of the few leisure activities affordable to peasants. In the rest of the world, dice played an important role among the tribes and indigenous peoples of Africa and the Americas, for both recreation and divination. And in 12th-century China, a variation of a dice game led to the introduction of dominoes, which are basically flattened-out dice.But it was in Medieval Europe that the popularity of dice game soared, starting in the 1100s with a game called Hazard that was played by both aristocrats and commoners. “They dance and play at dice both day and night,” wrote Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales. These games were so popular that over the ensuing centuries dice guilds and schools formed all over western Europe. That didn’t stop the Catholic Church from attempting to ban all gambling games, though. Over the next few hundred years, dozens of popes, bishops, and priests instituted bans against dicing games. And just like in ancient Rome, the bans didn’t stop people from playing them.

It was inevitable then, that dice traveled aboard the ships emigrating to the New World (the religious Pilgrims on the Mayflower were none too fond of the crew’s gambling games). In colonial America, the game of Hazard was introduce by the French in New Orleans, who called it crapaud, meaning “toad.” The game became popular with slaves, who shortened the name to craps, which is still the most popular gambling dice game in the the United States. And in the early 20th century, board games like Monopoly became popular, guaranteeing that nearly every American home would have at least one set of dice.

Where there is gaming, there is cheating. While ancient civilizations may have believed the gods were responsible for the outcome of the roll, many unscrupulous players felt the need to give the gods a little help. Loaded dice -as well as dice with the corners shaved off- were found in the ruins of Pompeii. When wooden dice were common, enterprising gamblers would grow small trees around pebbles; then they’d carve the dice with the weight inside, leaving no visible marks.
Modern cheaters are just as crafty in their methods. One type of trick dice are trappers: Drops of mercury are loaded into a center reservoir; by holding the die a certain way and tapping it against a table, the mercury travels down a tunnel to another reservoir, subtly weighting the die. Another trick is to fill a die with wax that melts at just below body temperature: Held in a closed fist, the wax melts, settling to the desired side.
Today casinos spend millions trying to thwart cheaters in a high tech war of wits using extremely sensitive equipment to detect even the slightest alteration in a pair of suspect dice. And to keep people from bringing their own dice to the craps table, all casino dice have tiny serial numbers. A more radical way of stoping cheaters: virtual dice rolled by a computer. This not only makes loading dice impossible, but also allows craps players to “roll the bones” from the keypad of a cell phone. But nothing can replace the actual feeling of shaking the dice in your hands and letting them fly.

Dice made from the ankles of sheep are still used in Mongolia today. And they’re just one type of thousands that exist. Have you ever rolled a 30-sided die -the highest number symmetrical polyhedron? Or how about the 100-sided die, called the Zocchihedron (invented in the 1980s by a gamer named Lou Zocchi)? There’s also the no-sided die -a sphere with a moving internal weight that causes the sphere to stop rolling with one of its six numbers facing up. There are barrel dice (roughly cylindrical, with flat surfaces), letter dice (like in the game Boggle), playing card dice (often called “poker dice”), six-siders numbered zero through five, three-sided dice, doubling cubes (such as those used in backgammon), asymmetrical polyhedrons, and countless others.
And those are just the varieties used in gaming. Myriad other dice are used in cleromancy, the ancient practice of divining with dice. Tibetan Buddhists use a set of three dice made from conch shells to help make daily decisions. Astrologers use a set of 12-sided dice relating to the Zodiac signs. There are I Ching dice with trigrams and yin/yang symbols. And if you’ve ever shaken a Magic 8-Ball and asked it a question, you’ve practiced cleromancy: The responses -“Yes,” “No,” “Ask again,” “Later, “ etc.- are printed on a 20-sided icosahedron.

Though rarely used in games since the Roman Empire, noncubical dice have made a resurgence in the past few decades. They were used for teaching arithmetic before they took hold of the world of gaming by storm, most notably in the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

Historical News

Exactly how the statue got its set of choppers is a mystery.
Analysis of the chemistry in the bones of the late king reveal his elitist diet.

Mount Rushmore as you've never seen it

(In the 1920s, before it was carved)

The Appennine Colossus

Measuring about 35 feet tall, it's arguably the most spectacular feature of the gardens of Villa Medici at Pratolino, located about 7 miles north of Florence, Italy. Called 'the Appennine Colossus', it was created around 1580 by scultor Giambologna, born as Jean Boulogne.
This colossal sculpture recalls the figure of Atlas in Virgil's Aeneid, and also the architect Dinocrates' proposal to shape Mount Athos into a man in honor of Alexander the Great.

The Underground Cities of Cappadocia

The Underground Cities of Cappadocia
In 1963, a man in the Nevşehir Province of Turkey knocked down a wall of his home. Behind it, he discovered a mysterious room. The man continued digging and soon discovered an intricate tunnel system with additional cave-like rooms. What he had discovered was the ancient Derinkuyu underground city, part of the Cappadocia region in central Anatolia, Turkey.
The elaborate subterranean network included discrete entrances, ventilation shafts, wells, and connecting passageways. It was one of dozens of underground cities carved from the rock in Cappadocia thousands of years ago. Hidden for centuries, Derinkuyu‘s underground city is the deepest.

Magical Paths Begging To Be Walked

Roads and paths pervade our literature, poetry, artwork, linguistic expressions and music. Even photographers can't keep their eyes (and lenses) off of a beautiful road or path.
Paths like these have a powerful grip on the human imagination - they can bring adventure, promise and change or solitude, peace and calm. There's nothing like a walk down a beautiful path to clear your head - or to fill it with ideas! Here's a collection of 28 amazing photos of paths.

Daily Comic Relief


Earth News

Earthquakes under Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano prompted the Met Office to raise the volcano's eruption risk level to orange.
A gorge formed by an earthquake and a violent river arrived quickly and could be gone in 50 years.

Animal News

Amazon river turtles communicate with their hatchlings and with one another using vocalizations, recordings reveal.
Having lost her own calf five years ago, mother take an orphan under her flipper.

Animal Pictures