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

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Daily Drift

What little voter fraud there is - it is always committed by repugicans ..!
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Today in History

1350 John II, also known as John the Good, succeeds Philip VI as king of France.
1485 Henry Tudor defeats Richard III at Bosworth. This victory establishes the Tudor dynasty in England and ends the War of the Roses.
1642 Civil war in England begins as Charles I declares war on Parliament at Nottingham.
1717 The Austrian army forces the Turkish army out of Belgrade, ending the Turkish revival in the Balkans.
1777 With the approach of General Benedict Arnold's army, British Colonel Barry St. Ledger abandons Fort Stanwix and returns to Canada.
1849 The Portuguese governor of Macao, China, is assassinated because of his anti-Chinese policies.
1911 The Mona Lisa, the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, is stolen from the Louvre in Paris, where it had hung for more than 100 years. It is recovered in 1913.
1922 Michael Collins, Irish politician, is killed in an ambush.
1942 Brazil declares war on the Axis powers. She is the only South American country to send combat troops into Europe.
1945 Soviet troops land at Port Arthur and Dairen on the Kwantung Peninsula in China.
1945 Conflict in Vietnam begins when a group of Free French parachute into southern Indochina, in repsonse to a successful coup by communist guerilla Ho Chi Minh.
1952 Devil's Island's penal colony is permanently closed.
1956 Incumbent US President Dwight D. Eisenhower & Vice President Richard Nixon renominated by Republican convention in San Francisco.
1962 OAS (Secret Army Organization) gunmen unsuccessfully attempt to assassinate French president Charles de Gaulle; the incident inspires Frederick Forsyth's novel, The Day of the Jackal.
1962 The world's first nuclear-powered passenger-cargo ship, NS Savannah, completes its maiden voyage from Yorktown, Va., to Savannah, Ga.
1968 First papal visit to Latin America; Pope Paul VI arrives in Bogota.
1969 Hurricane Camille hits US Gulf Coast, killing 256 and causing $1.421 billion in damages.
1971 Bolivian military coup: Col. Hugo Banzer Suarez ousts leftist president, Gen. Juan Jose Torres and assumes power.
1971 FBI arrests members of The Camden 28, an anti-war group, as the group is raiding a draft office in Camden, NJ.
1972 International Olympic Committee votes 36–31 with 3 abstentions to ban Rhodesia from the games because of the country's racist policies.
1975 US president Gerald Ford survives second assassination attempt in 17 days, this one by Sarah Jane Moore in San Francisco, Cal.
1983 Benigno Aquino, the only real opposition on Ferdinand Marcos' reign as president of the Philippines, is gunned down at Manila Airport.
1989 First complete ring around Neptune discovered.
1995 During 11-day siege at at Ruby Ridge, Id., FBI HRT sniper Lon Horiuchi kills Vicki Weaver while shooting at another target.
2003 Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore suspended for refusing to comply with federal court order to remove the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court building's lobby.
2005 Art heist: a version of The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, are stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo, Norway.
2007 Most runs scored by any team in modern MLB history as the Texas Rangers thump the Baltimore Orioles 30-3.

Non Sequitur


Not expanding Medicaid to cost N.C. billions

A new report shows the decision by Pat McCrony and the repugicans  not to expand Medicaid coverage through the Affordable Care Act will cost North Carolina $51 billion in lost federal payments over the next decade.
The study issued by the non-partisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute says the state will lose nearly $40 billion in Medicaid funding to the state and more than $11 billion in reimbursements to North Carolina hospitals.

It's estimated about 319,000 low-income workers would have gained health insurance coverage had the state expanded Medicaid.
McCrony lies that the state's system is too broken to expand. The repugican legislative said reforming the system was among their top legislative priorities for 2014, but appear poised to adjourn without approving a plan.

New Gallup Poll Proves Obamacare’s Overwhelming Effectiveness and How repugicans are Risking Millions of Lives

If you Google the term “Obamacare poll,” you’ll find a seemingly endless list of different polls done over the last few years telling you all sorts of things concerning how people feel about the Affordable Care Act.
To be honest, I never pay much attention to any of them.
Why?  Well, because many Americans don’t know a whole lot about the Affordable Care Act.  There’s been so much misinformation spread about the law that the majority of what I hear people say they “feel” about it is often completely wrong or at best minimally factual.
You have people answering questions on opinion polls based on inaccurate information.  So all you really end up with is a poll that’s essentially useless.  Besides, people often tend to believe what they want to believe rather than what’s actually real.
But when a poll shows how many people have been directly impacted by the Affordable Care Act, that’s the poll you want to look at.
And according to a recent Gallup poll, it’s indisputable that “Obamacare” is a huge success.  But not only that, repugicans are putting millions of American lives at risk by continuing to peddle wingnut propaganda and not fully comply with the law.
When taking a look at this poll, of the 10 states that had the largest drop in their rate of uninsured citizens from last year, every single one of them expanded Medicaid and created their own state sponsored exchanges.
In other words, the Affordable Care Act works.
For more proof of the ACA’s success, look no further than Arkansas.  This repugican stronghold was the state that had the biggest drop of uninsured citizens from last year.  Since 2013, and after the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, Arkansas has cut its uninsured rate by nearly half.
But the bad news for repugicans doesn’t stop there.  When digging into the numbers deeper you see that the states that continue to have the highest number of uninsured citizens are either controlled by repugican governors, repugican legislatures or both.  Those states are Texas, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Arizona, Oklahoma, Alaska, and New Mexico.
And 9 out of those 10 states refused to expand Medicaid or create their own state health care exchanges.  New Mexico was the only state that expanded Medicaid and created their own exchange.
So, is “Obamacare” massively popular when you ask people their opinion of the law?  Not usually.  Often the law’s approval numbers float around 42-48%.
But, again, those numbers are based on people’s opinions of the law.  And I can promise you there are many people in this country right now who’ve gained access to health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act – yet they still oppose the law.
However, a poll such as this recent one done by Gallup shows indisputable evidence that millions of previously uninsured Americans now have access to health care thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
It also shows that partisan repugican antics in those states where the uninsured rates remain high are putting millions of American lives at risk.
Morons like Sarah Palin, or everyone at Faux News, who helped perpetuate the lies about “Obamacare” are directly at fault.
Because if you want to talk about “death panels,” those are your death panels.  The repugicans who decided playing partisan politics was more important than providing much-needed health care to Americans who desperately needed it.  Because I can promise you there are going to be people in those states who are going to die because they didn’t have health insurance.  Individuals who will die because repugicans put politics before people

New Study Reveals That repugican Policies Have Pushed Millions Of Americans Into Hunger

According to a shocking study released by the relief charity Feeding America, the number of Americans struggling to feed their families is the same as during the height of the repugican recession …
A travesty is 
a false, absurd, or distorted representation of something, and although not synonymous with a tragedy that means an unfortunate or disastrous occurrence, both words are apropos to the economic situation millions of Americans find themselves in. The travesty is that as the richest nation in the world, most of the nation’s wealth is held by a tiny percentage of wealthy elitists, and tragically, an inordinate percentage of the population is hungry for lack of income. The repugicans claim people struggling in poverty are lazy and lack family values, or that cutting wages, eliminating overtime pay, and eliminating social programs coupled with more tax cuts for the rich and corporations will lift the poor out of poverty.
It has been over five years since repugicans crashed the economy and put millions upon millions of Americans out of work and into poverty, and throughout the recovery repugicans drastically cut domestic programs, purposely kept wages stagnant, and maintained tax cuts and special privileges for the people they serve; the rich and corporations. According to their economic delusion, then, with the stock market at record highs, corporate profits through the roof, and unemployment continuing to fall, there should be very few Americans suffering from food insecurity and outright hunger. However, according to a shocking study released by the relief charity Feeding America on Monday, the number of Americans struggling to feed their families is the same as during the height of the Great Recession.
Feeding America’s study, Hunger in America 2014, was a four year endeavor and the “most comprehensive study of hunger in the U.S. ever conducted.” The study focused on families served by Feeding America and did not include poor people who use food programs apart from its network. The study covered 60,000 people with a median income of $9,175 annually, which is less than half the federal poverty level for a family of three according to Census Bureau data for 2013. The charity serves over 15.5 million households of which about half receive minimal amounts of food stamps that last on average less than two weeks. The repugicans just cut food stamps by about $800 million a year that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said reduced benefits for 850,000 poor households nationwide. The repugicans complained the food stamp cuts were not harsh enough because their predilection is keeping the poor hungry to make room for tax cuts for the rich, purportedly to lift more Americans out of poverty.
When the Great Recession struck, the percentage of Americans suffering food insecurity (hunger) spiked to 14.6% from 11% as the recession started shedding jobs, and although the economy is recovering, the number has stayed the same regardless more Americans are back to work. In fact, in a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute, wages fell during the recession and the recovery for workers struggling in the bottom 70% of the wage distribution, despite increases in productivity.
According to the general consensus, when unemployment falls food insecurity typically falls with it, but according to the USDA, rising food costs and general inflation coupled with stagnant poverty wages are offsetting any benefits of lower unemployment. The USDA also reported that in 2013 at least 49 million Americans lack consistent access to sufficient food, and suggest that millions more Americans experience hunger who do not use food assistance services.
Some of the statistics the study revealed are that Feeding America provides supplemental food for 46.5 million people, over 12 million households eat unhealthy food because they cannot afford better-quality groceries, 66% of households are forced to choose between buying food and paying for medicine, and that 69% of families are forced to pay for utilities or pay for food; but not both. Now, before repugicans claim people going hungry are lazy moochers, lack religion, or the will to work, the majority of recipients work, are senior citizens, or children. They are also predominately white 43%. African Americans make up 26% and Latinos 20%; 10% of food recipient adults are students.
Now, if the recession were still in full swing, it would make sense that the number of Americans going hungry is staying the same, but that is not the case. Although the recovery is not nearly as robust as it could be, unemployment is falling and yet while working Americans can hardly feed their families, the stock market, corporations, and the wealthy elite have taken the lion’s share of the recovery due in great part to repugicans protecting their donors’ ability to spirit away their obscene profits. Add to that, repugicans spending no small amount of time obstructing a minimum wage increase, passing legislation to kill overtime pay, blocked unemployment benefit extensions, and doing the Koch brothers’ bidding by cutting pensions; all in an effort to keep millions of Americans struggling to choose to provide food or shelter for their families.
Feeding America spokesman, Ross Fraser, said “This report clearly makes a case for the importance of federal nutrition programs. They are the first line of defense for someone who lives at risk of hunger.” It is a line of defense repugicans cannot cut enough as they obstruct President Obama and Democrats attempt to alleviate the hunger crisis because their primary focus has been phony scandals, investigations, lawsuits, and lengthy vacations at taxpayers’ expense.
It is a travesty, a farce, that America is the richest nation on Earth, because in the richest nation on Earth nearly 50 million citizens would not be hungry. It is true there is bountiful wealth in America, but it is concentrated in the top 1% of income earners and Republicans are Hell-bent and duty-bound to keep it that way. Reports like Feeding America’s, or the U.N.s putting America’s children living in dire poverty in the second spot among developed nations, will never faze repugicans to abandon their devotion to increasing corporate or the wealthy elites riches and help hungry Americans.
The repugicans cannot claim there is a lack of resources to help feed 50 million hungry citizens because they consistently block efforts to stop handing billions of dollars to corporations, the oil industry, or religious organizations through subsidies and tax breaks. What is stunning is that the people suffering from poor wages, lack of food, inadequate housing, and healthcare are predominately in repugican-controlled states who consistently send repugicans to Congress and statehouses to keep them poor, unhealthy, and hungry That is not a travesty or a tragedy; it is stupidity borne of racism toward President Obama.
Most Americans are shocked and angered when human beings deliberately abuse animals by withholding food, and yet the idea that 50 million of their fellow citizens, including working Americans, Veterans, senior citizens, the disabled, and children going hungry is acceptable. Why? Because repugicans have conned them that only lazy people, minorities, and godless people lacking family values are going hungry and it obviously warms their hearts to see their children, parents, and neighbors going hungry. Why else would they continue voting for repugicans who openly campaign on keeping wages at poverty level, cutting food assistance, and cutting pensions to enrich corporations and the rich just to keep tens-of-millions of Americans struggling to eat.
The real tragedy of America, and there are far too many, is that a large segment of the population are just as heartless, cold-blooded, and celebrate human beings going hungry as repugicans just so the rich can get richer.

Our Pledge of Allegiance and the Myth of “one nation under god”

sadwhackosYou often hear many on the right claim that our country was founded on christianity.  They’ll use our Pledge of Allegiance as “proof” that this nation was founded as a christian nation.  Many of them put bumper stickers on their vehicles that say “one nation under god!” or emphasize the word “god”  when they recite our nation’s pledge.
It all sounds great, except—our pledge wasn’t written until until 1892.  Yes, you read that correctly, our Pledge of Allegiance was written a full 116 years after the Revolutionary War and Declaration of Independence.
Not just that, the phrase “under god” wasn’t even in the original text of our pledge:
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
And it gets better.  The author of our pledge was Francis Bellamy—a christian socialist.  He stood for workers rights and believed in an equal distribution of economic resources.  He believed in the nationalization of certain industries, because he feared their manipulation and corruption in the hands of a private sector which would put profits before people.
So a christian, a minister at that, wrote the pledge—yet didn’t  include the word “god” or “christian” and  he was a socialist.  I’m sure by now most wingnuts reading this will have already decided I’m making all of this up.  But oh, there’s more.
In 1923, more text was added to our pledge:
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
So, 31 years after its origination, our pledge still  didn’t contain the phrase “under god.”
In fact, it wasn’t until 1954 that the phrase “under god” was actually added to our pledge, in a response to the threat of communism.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
So it wasn’t until 62 years after its creation did our pledge include the words “under god.”
I can already hear some now, “But—our currency has “in god we trust” written on it!  It’s our nation’s motto!”
That’s true, it does and it is.  But “in god we trust” didn’t appear on any currency until 1864.  In fact the motto “in god we trust” wasn’t even adopted into this country officially until 1956 and didn’t appear on our paper currency until 1957.  It was only on our coins up to that point.
Then let’s not forget that the only  reference to religion in our Bill of Rights is in our First Amendment, which states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The word christianity doesn’t appear even once in our Constitution.
So when these people proudly boast about our nation being a “christian nation” or that we were a nation founded “under god,” remind them of these facts.
Because the more they press the issue, the more they think you’re simply making all of this up, the more they continue to insist this country was founded on christianity and use our currency or pledge as proof…
The more they display their ignorance of our history, of reality and prove that they would rather believe a lie than know the truth.

The Koch Brothers Are Rigging The System At The Local Level No Matter Who It Hurts

Much has been written about the efforts of billionaires Charles and David Koch to exert influence at the highest reaches of government through shadow groups, lobbying, political action committees, think tanks, and more.
In recent years, the Koch brothers have expanded their efforts to another area as well: local elections and local government. Through their front groups, most notably un-Americans For (no)Prosperity (AFP), the Koch network has waded into county tax debates, city transportation decisions, and even school board elections. As Eli Miller, director of the Ohio chapter of AFP, put it: “There is no issue we won’t get involved in.”

In a new report, the Center for American Progress Action Fund digs up a number of examples of this approach. It’s part of the broad strategy on the part of the Koch brothers that we call “Kochonomics”: limit government as much as possible, resulting in a system that benefits their business no matter the potential harm to everyone else. We’ve found that this local approach is an increasingly important prong in their multifaceted effort. Here are several examples of Kochonomics in action:
  • Putting Politics Over Kids In Illinois: In two separate Illinois school districts, AFP defeated initiatives intended to update school facilities, reduce class sizes, and avoid cuts to school staff positions and programs. The initiatives would have raised taxes by about $3 per week for the average homeowner.
  • Polluting Water Sources In Iron County, Wisconsin: Koch interests ignored the environmental consequences and the opposition of native tribes in the area by swaying the outcome of a local board election in Iron County, Wisconsin, to expand mining operations.
  • Denying A Beloved Columbus Landmark: AFP’s Ohio chapter mounted a campaign to defeat a $23-per-household tax increase for the popular Columbus Zoo, depriving the Ohio institution of a stable revenue source and the ability to grow. In just example of how Koch interests can often part ways with normal business interests, the zoo levy was endorsed by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and the fiscally conservative Columbus Dispatch.
  • Derailing New Mass Transit In Nashville: AFP’s Tennessee state director lobbied to ban a locally designed mass transit system in Nashville that would improve the city’s connectivity and reduce commuting times for residents. When the state legislature passed a law that erected barriers to the project’s completion, the official opposition group publicly thanked AFP in its press release. Local business interests supported the project.
  • Opposing Emergency Funds In Fremont, Nebraska: In 2013, the town of Fremont, Nebraska, with a population of roughly 26,000, considered increasing the food and beverage tax to help fund capital improvement projects that were “emergenc[ies],” as the Mayor put it. The tax would have raised the price of a $20 meal by 35 cents. It took just one month for the Koch brothers and their AFP arm to put the kibosh on those plans.
  • Nixing Funding For Public Safety In Gahanna, Ohio: City leaders in Gahanna, a near suburb of Columbus, thought it necessary to ask voters to adopt a 1 percentage point income tax increase, meant to prevent cuts to public safety, save jobs, and keep community centers open. AFP misled voters by distorting the size of the tax increase, and it went down.
  • Undermining Public Education In Communities Nationwide: In a number of cases, the Koch network has used its resources to influence school board elections and develop school initiatives that undermine public education. They promote policies that would defund public schools and redistribute resources to private schools, fund groups that blatantly spread lies about the Common Core, and attack teachers. 
  • .
Learn more about these and other examples in the full report here.

BOTTOM LINE: Despite having the support of Republican elected officials, these examples demonstrate that the Koch brothers are not trying to take power away from the federal government and give it to states and localities to make their own decisions. As the Koch influence continues to grow, the true agenda of Kochonomics becomes clearer: using the network’s vast resources to take power away from officials at all levels of government and give it to a pair of billionaire brothers and those who agree and profit with them.

Missouri repugican cabal chief Thinks Helping Ferguson Residents Register To Vote Is ‘Disgusting’


On Tuesday, the Executive Director of the Missouri repugican cabal, Matt Wills, ranted on Breitbart regarding reports that voter registration booths had been set up in Ferguson. Apparently, civil rights activists, led by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, have used the protests in Ferguson over the death of Mike Brown to convince local residents to register to vote. This doesn’t sit well with Wills and the state’s repugican cabal. When contacted by Breitbart to give an opinion on this, Wills said the following:
“If that’s not fanning the political flames, I don’t know what is. I think it’s not only disgusting but completely inappropriate.”
Nope. Nothing racist about that at all.
One of the main complaints from black Ferguson residents in the aftermath of Brown’s shooting is that they feel shutout of the political process and major decisions affecting them. Despite African-Americans making up 67% of the town’s population, the mayor is white, six out of seven members of the school board are white (the other one is Hispanic) and nearly every other elected official in the town is white. The school system’s superintendent, a black man, was summarily suspended without explanation by the school board. He later resigned. The police department has only 3 black officers out of a force of 53.
Sharpton told the black people of Ferguson that if they want to affect change, they need to get to the polls and votes. He loudly condemned the 12 percent voter turnout by black residents during his speech at a rally Sunday. If they want more African-Americans in positions of political power they need to register to vote and get involved. Sharpton put his money where his mouth is and, along with others, set up the voter registration booths in and around the major protest areas. Basically, if young black people are going to come out and demonstrate, then they should also be given the tools to affect real change.
However, Wills, obviously speaking on behalf of many repugicans, not only in Missouri but this country, feel that this is awful and “disgusting.” I am shocked I didn’t see him quoted as calling Jackson and Sharpton ‘race hustlers.’ In his mind, civil rights activists shouldn’t use an event that is largely happening due to the long-standing racial and political issues affecting a specific area to raise awareness with the people who are most affected. They need to be solemn and respectful and not try to incite young black people to take any action towards their future. In other words, do what white repugicans want them to do — nothing.
Also, per Wills, he doesn’t think the Mike Brown tragedy has anything to do with race, and he wishes people would stop bringing it up.
“This is not just a tragedy for the African American community this is a tragedy for the Missouri community as well as the community of what we call America. Injecting race into this conversation and into this tragedy, not only is not helpful, but it doesn’t help a continued conversation of justice and peace.”
Ummm, OK. Sure. Race has nothing to do with what happened in Ferguson. Also, Wills doesn’t think it’s helpful to discuss race when talking about this awful tragedy. However, he also thinks it is “completely inappropriate” for black people to get registered to vote at this time in Ferguson.

Ferguson Police Busted - The Attempt To Defame Shooting Victim Blows Up In Their Face

When the Ferguson police department released the name of Darren Wilson, they also chose to release video footage which they claimed was of Michael Brown robbing a convenience store for some cigars.
The problem is, the video shows Michael Brown at the register, paying for the cigars.
From observation, it looks as if he had tried to buy more, but then was unable to afford it, hence why he left several packets on the counter. This prompted the store owner to come out from behind the counter and have a discussion with him, which prompted the shove witnessed in the full video.
Whatever words were exchanged between the man in the video and the store owner, they were not considered very serious, as the store owner nor the employees did not report a theft at the store. According to the stores attorney, the owners were bewildered when the police approached them demanding the surveillance tapes.
The store owners are now afraid of themselves becoming a target, due to the Ferguson PD's attempt to tie their store to the fateful shooting. A gross abuse of police authority, one which now puts someone else at risk.
Even if Michael Brown were a petty thief, this does not excuse the cold-blooded shooting death of the 18-year-old. Of course the right-wing took the robbery claim at face value, and began labeling Michael Brown as a 'thug' who did not deserve due process.
But instead it looked like he was a teenager who was enjoying a few cigars which he purchased at the local store. The store owners did not claim he stole from them. Video evidence shows him paying for the cigars found on him. The police attempt to paint Michael Brown as anything but a victim is a complete and total fraud.
Michael Brown was to start college last Monday, and was preparing to start his own business upon graduation. Officer Wilson cut short a promising young man before he could truly get his start in the world. It is a story so tragic due not to this isolated case, but for how common this is in America.
The United States is racing the results of decades of legitimized racism. Ever since President Reagan made it ok to bash the poor, so long as they were black, the progress in race relations in this country has been undone. Now we are facing the obvious result of this criminalization of African-Americans in the US. Is it not time to say enough is enough, and stop putting the blame on the victims?

Help!: The Beatles' Second Movie

by Eddie Deezen
The huge success, financially, critically, and personally, of the Beatles' first film A Hard Day's Night in 1964 made a follow-up film an inevitability. And everything pointed to this next film being superior to A Hard Day's Night. After all, the locations for this second film would be the Bahamas and the Austrian Alps.
The Beatles liked these locations because they wanted to have a fun holiday while filming (their manager, Brian Epstein, liked the tax breaks they would get in the Bahamas.) Richard Lester and Walter Shenson, the respective director and producer of A Hard Day's Night, would be returning too. The budget would be double that of A Hard Day's Night and this time the movie would be filmed in glorious Technicolor. But as they say, the best laid plans of mice and Beatles...
Filming began in the Bahamas on February 22, 1965. The film's ultra-flimsy plot was something about an Eastern cult losing a mystic sacrificial ring and Ringo somehow finding it. The Eastern villains chase Ringo around, trying to get their sacred ring back, and this leads to a combination James Bond-like spy film and a semi-merry chase romp as John, Paul and George try to save their drummer pal from the fiendish baddies.
From day one, it very quickly became apparent that the Beatles were, shall we say, indulging. John was to recall: “We were smoking marijuana for breakfast during this period. Nobody could communicate with us, it was all glazed eyes and giggling all the time.”
Ringo added: “If you look at pictures of us, you can see a lot of red-eyed shots. They were red from the dope we were smoking.”
The boys' beautiful female co-star, Eleanor Bron, remembered John (who she had an on-set affair with) offering her a joint one day and her timidly taking a quick puff.
George recalled the boys filming a rather innocuous scene where a pipe is dropped out the window of Buckingham Palace and several of the Army Guard dropping onto the ground, put to sleep by blue smoke emanating from the hose. George and his mates kept breaking up into fits of the giggles, ruining take after take, and the routine scene took up almost a full day to film. Poor director Lester, a very patient man, realized that if he didn't get a scene filmed by around noon, he may as well pack up for the day.
On another occasion, a scene was being filmed where a bomb goes off. After the bomb blast, Ringo and Paul started running away, as per the script. They ran and ran and ran and kept on running and running, until they were completely out of sight of the rest of the cast and crew. The two hooky-playng Beatles then happily lit up a joint together and smoked away.
Besides the all-too-obvious prevalence of marijuana, other problems arose. Early on in filming, Ringo is on a boat and is confronted by the film's villains. He has to jump out of the boat into the ocean. After a few takes, Dick Lester told Ringo they'd have to film the scene again.
Ringo politely asked if they could use the previous takes and not do any more. When Lester asked “Why?" Ringo timidly confessed that he couldn't swim. Lester's face blanched when he realized he had just risked drowning the world's most famous drummer.
Recalled John: "The movie was out of control. With A Hard Day's Night we had a lot of input, as it was semi-realistic.....but with Help! Dick Lester didn't tell us what it was all about.” Problems aside, the Help! shoot had its interesting moments.
Help! was to be a life-changing experience for George Harrison, the quiet Beatle. While filming an outdoor scene on bicycles one day, the Beatles stopped for a short break. A Krishna devotee walked up to each Beatle and handed them a book on Hare Krishna consciousness. In another scene inside an Indian restaurant, the house band played “A Hard Day's Night” on sitars. George was struck and fascinated by the Indian instruments. With these two events to kindle his interest, George was to gradually become "the religious Beatle" and spend the rest of his life worshipping both the Krishna religion and all things Indian.
Filming in the Austrian Alps involved one of the best scenes in Help!, as the Fab Four tried skiing for the very first time. Director Lester just told them to hit the slopes, put on their skis and try to ski as best they could. The results of the scene are both comical and endearing, as we watch John, Paul, George and Ringo falling down and trying to stay up, backed by the sounds of one of John's  finest songs, “Ticket to Ride.”
Another fascinating scene in Help! comes as the Beatles don disguises to fool the villains so they can escape. This eerie scene gives us our first glimpse of John Lennon in his soon-to-be trademark granny glasses. John Lennon 1965 is amazingly transformed into the John Lennon of 1969 the world was to know, as he became the world's number one peacenik along with his future wife, Yoko Ono.

Not only John's future aspect is depicted in this scene, but both George and Ringo, both bearded, also look uncannily as they would in just a few short years in the future, George the devoted religious worshiper and Ringo the globe-trotting Monte Carlo resident.
One day, probably motivated by boredom, the Beatles rented out four colorful sports cars. They drove to a huge quarry and started driving around recklessly, doing donuts and bumping and crashing into each other. According to George, it was a shame these scenes weren't edited into the film, as they were better than anything in the actual finished product.
Other "must have been interesting" scenes were also edited out, including Ringo milking a cow in a back room and a scene where George impersonates Ringo while sitting in a tree house.
The film's original working title had been Eight Arms to Hold You, but no one really cottoned to this clumsy monicker. It was John who wrote the film's unforgettably beautiful theme song Help!, an autobiographical song about his own personal cry for help. (John remembered this era as his unhappy "fat Elvis period.”)
The Help! shoot finally came to an end in May and everybody anxiously awaited the film's release. On July 29, 1965, the Fab Four attended the royal premiere of Help!, probably hopefully expecting an equal or possibly better film than A Hard Day's Night.
Unlike their first film, Help! came out uneven, unbalanced. The songs were great (the Beatles never let us down when it came to music) and there were a few genuinely funny moments. But there were some very flat gags and worse, a long dull period in the middle of the film. Reviews were decidedly mixed, with almost every reviewer dubbing Help! a comedown from their glittering debut.
John Lennon never really warmed up to Help!, saying, “It was like being a frog in a movie about clams.” He also said, “We felt like extras in our own film".
Reviews and John Lennon aside, Help!, like its predecessor, was a box office bonanza, raking in millions all over the world. Nonetheless, Help! left a bit if a sour taste in the Beatles' collective mouth and they never were to act or appear in another actual scripted theatrical motion picture. (The boys did make a brief 52-second live cameo appearance at the end of the animated film Yellow Submarine in 1968.)

Kid Scribbles On Wall, Creative Mom Fixes It

Kids love to share their new found love of art with their family, but sometimes this freedom of artistic expression means the folks are left cleaning up major messes around the house.
Little artists spill on the carpet, mark on tabletops and smear fingerprints all over the furniture, and in their young eyes those blank walls are just dying for an artistic makeover.
Usually when kids write on the walls it means the parents have to scrub the whole mess off, sometimes even repaint to cover up the mess, but one crafty mom went along with her child’s artistic streak instead of covering it up.
With a little design ingenuity, and some beautifully painted organic shapes, she was able to turn the scribbles into a bit of decorative flair, and her ingenious solution was shared with the world by Redditor jerschneid.

Completely Rational Sentences You Could Say Today That Would Sound Crazy 20 Years Ago

At Ask Reddit, nepat1248 asks:
What is a completely rational sentence you could speak today, that if you said 20 years ago, people would think you were insane?
This is a fun question! Many people offered references to how technology has changed our daily lives. AI0 writes:
I store my contacts in the cloud.
Saintarium comments on the dystopian horror that we currently live in:
"I can't wait for Disney to finish making the next Avengers and Star Wars movies!"
Who could have predicted that Facebook would exist? Not sp0rk_walker:
All those people from high school you never thought you would see again? Well you still won't talk to them but you will see pictures of their kids every day.
Bkvm96 is ready to lead a cult:
"I have 2000 followers!"
GalaxyAwesome clicked on the wrong button:
Aw man, I accidentally liked her photo.
TheMobHasSpoken points out that, culturally speaking, we've advanced in some ways:
"You know what really transcends the age and gender demographic it was designed for? My Little Pony."

Japan McDonalds Now Carries Couple-Sized Jumbo Sodas

forever alone coke
It seems the sizes of soda cups in certain fast food chains has grown from cup sized single servings to barrels that a small army could live off of for three weeks. Japanese versions of the McDonalds chain is now offering a jumbo sized coke. But there is a slight catch, as you can see from the photo above. The drink is massive, but comes with a reminder that you are either destined to die alone, or that you at least have someone with you who loves you enough to take the journey to the other side with you.
There is, after all, nothing more romantic than the person who is willing to get diabetes with/for you, is there? Also, seems a great way for the fast food chain to remind people they should not be guzzling back that much carbonated sugar water by themselves. Either that, or remind them of the constant looming shadow that is is their epic loneliness.
Either or.

Nurse Burnout

Nurses driven mainly by a desire to help others are more likely to burn out

Nurses who are motivated primarily by the desire to help […]

Abusive Leadership

Inebriated woman wandered into stranger's house, took a shower, then got into her bed

A pensioner in Baden-Baden, south-western Germany, had an unexpected house guest when a 57-year-old woman wandered into her home before falling asleep naked in her bed. Police were called to the house in Offenburg by the resident and her neighbor after the woman, who had too much to drink, wandered in proceeded to take a nap. The door had been left open to let fresh air come into the house. "She came into the house and just made herself at home," a police spokesman from the Offenburg police station said.
Once in, she undressed, took a shower, dried herself and laid down in bed to sleep it off. The resident of the house was home the whole time and was in a state of shock, unsure how to react to the uninvited guest, police said. "She saw everything happen, but wasn't sure what to do."
Only after the woman had gone to sleep did the senior consult with a neighbor and phoned for help. Arriving officers abruptly woke the slumbering stranger and took her to the station after giving her time to get dressed. She told officers that she had mistaken the house for a friend's. The woman is known to police, though this is the first they've had to pull her out of someone else's bed.

Man on supervised release from prison attached electronic tag to rooster then went selling drugs

A Brazilian inmate on supervised release put his electronic monitoring bracelet on an unsuspecting rooster, which he locked in a chicken coop, and then sneaked off to sell drugs.
The ruse was discovered during a routine check in Porto Alegre of a drug sales spot on Wednesday night, when police detained Isaac Selau, 29, on suspicion of selling drugs and illegal possession of a firearm.

When they ran his name, they discovered he was under house arrest and required to remain at home in the evenings. They then went to his home, where they came across the bizarre sight of a rooster with a monitoring device around its neck. Police said it was the first time they had found an electronic monitoring bracelet on an animal.
At Selau's house, police seized cocaine, marijuana and a set of scales. The head of the electronic surveillance unit for the prisons in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, Cesar Moreira, said the system had detected Selau had removed his bracelet on Monday and had flagged him as a fugitive.

Man hit on head with baseball bat after fighting off one-legged man wielding prosthetic limb

A man in Seattle suffered a large cut and bruising after a man hit him over the head with an aluminum baseball bat only seconds after he'd fended off another man wielding a prosthetic leg.
According to a Seattle Police Department report, an officer was on patrol at around 2:30pm on Aug 13 when he saw a one-legged man swinging his prosthetic limb at a two-legged man in his mid-20s. The fighting men initially ignored the officer's presence and continued their scuffle.
But, eventually the two-legged man acknowledged the officer and started to walk off while the one-legged man re-attached his prosthetic limb. As the two-legged man was walking away, a third man appeared armed with an aluminum bat. The man, undeterred by the presence of the officer, ran up behind the two-legged man and hit him full force over the head with the bat, leaving him with a large cut and bruising.
The suspect reportedly ran off but was quickly apprehended by two King County Sheriff's Office deputies. Prior to being arrested, the suspect, a Cuban national, tossed away a baggie containing 21.8 grams of cocaine, according to a police report. The suspect was booked into King County Jail for investigation of assault and violation of the uniform controlled substances act. The victim refused treatment or transportation to the hospital.



19 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 in Bonn, Germany. Beethoven would become a virtuoso pianist and canonical composer of dozens of symphonies, concertos for piano, piano sonatas, and string quartets.
Having performed brilliantly for much of his youth and into his early thirties, the musician would slowly lose his hearing and ultimately focus his efforts on composing alone. Here is a list of things you might not know about Beethoven.

Reconstruction shows how ancient Scythian 'Princess' discovered in Kazakhstan looked like

Western Kazakhstani archaeologists have finally displayed the exclusive artifacts found in the ancient burial discovered in 2012, Tengrinews reports citing Moi Gorod and West Kazakhstan Oblast Center for History and Archaeology.
The ancient burial containing remains of a noble woman was discovered in Terekty district in Western Kazakhstan Oblast two years ago and was declared the oldest "golden" burial on the territory of Kazakhstan.

Humans Did Not Wipe Out the Neanderthals

Humans Did Not Wipe Out the Neanderthals, New Research Suggests
A site in Abric Romani, Spain, where Neanderthal remains were found.
Neanderthals went extinct in Europe about 40,000 years ago, giving them millennia to coexist with modern humans culturally and sexually, new findings suggest.
This research also suggests that modern humans did not cause Neanderthals to rapidly go extinct, as some researchers have previously suggested, scientists added.
Neanderthals are the closest extinct relatives of modern humans, and lived in Europe and Asia. Recent findings suggest that Neanderthals were closely related enough to interbreed with ancestors of modern humans — about 1.5 to 2.1 percent of the DNA of anyone outside Africa is Neanderthal in origin.
It has long been uncertain when Neanderthals went extinct, and there has been much debate over whether interactions with modern humans might have driven their disappearance. Neanderthals entered Europe before modern humans did, and prior studies had suggested the last of the Neanderthals held out there on the Iberian Peninsula until about 35,000 years ago, potentially sharing the region with modern humans for millennia. However, more recent findings suggested that some Neanderthal fossils from Europe might be thousands of years older than previously thought, raising the possibility that Neanderthals went extinct before modern humans arrived in Europe starting about 42,000 years ago.
To help solve the mystery of when Neanderthals went extinct, scientists analyzed bone, charcoal and shell materials from 40 archaeological sites from Russia to Spain. They employed advanced techniques for more precise dating of these specimens that involved ultra-filtering molecules from bone samples for examination and removing organic contaminants that could make specimens seem younger than they actually are.
The new findings suggest that Neanderthals disappeared from Europe between about 41,000 and 39,000 years ago.
"I think that, for the first time, we have a reliable extinction date for Neanderthals," said study author Tom Higham, a radiocarbon scientist at the University of Oxford in England. "This has eluded us for decades."
The Neanderthal extinction occurred across sites ranging from the Black Sea to the Atlantic Coast of Europe. The timing and geography suggest Neanderthals may have overlapped with modern humans for 2,600 to 5,400 years, opening the door for genetic and cultural exchanges between the two groups for millennia.
These findings suggest that modern humans did not rapidly replace Neanderthals in Europe — say, via violent means. Rather, the Neanderthal extinction "might have been more complex and drawn out than previously thought," Higham told Live Science.
There is some genetic evidence that Neanderthals in Western Europe may have experienced declining genetic diversity about the time when the first modern humans began arriving on the continent, Higham said. "This might mean that they were fading out at this time, although, of course, our evidence suggests that there was a long period of overlap during which this occurred," he said.
Neanderthals may not even have truly disappeared, but instead have been assimilated into modern human populations. "We know, of course, that we have a genetic legacy from Neanderthals of about 1 to 2 percent, so there was interbreeding," Higham said.
One mystery regarding sex between Neanderthals and modern humans is that the greatest amount of interbreeding between the two lineages is currently thought to have occurred about 77,000 to 114,000 years ago, preceding any potential interbreeding in Europe. However, Higham noted more recent as-yet-unpublished data suggest the interbreeding events occurred about 55,000 to 60,000 years ago, more in tune with interbreeding scenarios involving Europe. "What is needed is more genetic analysis of human bone from this transitional period in Europe," Higham said.
In the future, the researchers plan to extend their work into Eastern Europe and wider Eurasia to widen their data set and look for more patterns in the data pertaining to the Neanderthal extinction and the spread of modern humans, Higham said.
The scientists detailed their findings in the Aug. 21 issue of the journal Nature.

8 Jaw-Dropping Photos Of Earth From Space

As satellite technology has improved over the last half-century, our view of Earth has gotten more and more breathtaking. Aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand has collected 150 incredible images from these and other satellites in a new book, Earth From Space.
The images in the book are paired with information and essays of environmental themes, such as pollution, desertification, urban sprawl, agriculture, and disasters. Here are 8 of these jaw-dropping photos.

Daily Comic Relief


Ancient Toothless Pterosaurs Once Dominated the World's Skies

Ancient Toothless Pterosaurs Once Dominated the World's Skies
An artist's illustration of the Azhdarchid pterosaur species Quetzalcoatlus northropi
Giant toothless pterosaurs with wingspans stretching 39 feet (12 meters) across ruled the skies 60 million years ago, and new research suggests that these ancient flying creatures once had a worldwide presence, and likely played an important role in the Late Cretaceous ecosystem.
Despite their formidable size, the pterosaurs in the Azhdarchidae family had no teeth. The new research suggests they replaced their toothed relatives as the dominant species when high levels of carbon dioxide killed off important microscopic marine creatures, leading to a mass extinction about 90 million years ago.
"This shift in dominance from toothed to toothless pterodactyloids apparently reflects some fundamental changes in Cretaceous ecosystems, which we still poorly understand," Alexander Averianov, from the Russian Academy of Sciences, wrote in a new study of this type of pterosaur.
Fossil records show that pterosaurs were likely the first airborne vertebrates and they took to the skies around 220 million years ago. Some were so large they likely had to get a running start before taking off and had a hard time landing, according to research presented at the 2012 Geological Society of America meeting. The name Azhdarchidae comes from the Persian word "aždarha," which means dragon.These toothless creatures lived during the Late Cretaceous Period, about 70 million years ago.
Scientists know little about pterosaurs, since their fossil record is largely incomplete. Pterosaur bones are more fragile than other dinosaur bones and there are few that have survived. Most Azhdarchidae pterosaur fossils are preserved in soft sediment deposits called Konservat-Lagerstätten. These kinds of fossils are rare for the Late Cretaceous, so paleontologists have a hard time piecing together the pterosaur lineage.
"Azhdarchidae currently represents a real nightmare for pterosaur taxonomists," Averianov wrote in the paper.
In a 2008 review of Azhdarchidae, scientists examined 32 bones, but Averianov examined 54 known Azhdarchidae fossils: 51 bones and three fossilized tracks. The giant birds likely lived in a variety of environments, but after closely examining the sediments in which the fossils were discovered, Averianov discovered that most of the toothless pterosaurs probably lived near lakes and rivers and along coastlines.
About 13 percent of the pterosaur fossils were found in lake sediments, 17 percent from river sediments, 17 percent from coastal plains, 18 percent from estuaries and 35 percent from marine sediments.
Most Azhdarchidae species are only defined based on a few fragmented bones. The more complete skeletons scientists have discovered are not very well preserved. This lack of fossils led researchers to create an "inflated" number of pterosaur species, according to Averianov. After reviewing the taxonomy, Averianov found that paleontologists created separate species of Azhdarchidae based on sparse fossil evidence and may have misclassified some of the bone fragments.
In an effort to learn more about the evolution of pterosaurs, scientists created an online database of fossils called PteroTerra,which maps out the distribution of these ancient creatures using Google Earth.
The new taxonomy research was published Aug. 11 in the journal ZooKeys.

A Pink Grasshopper

It's a lovely shade of pink, which is not what you might expect from a grasshopper. Though rare, pink grasshoppers are occasionally spotted. Tim Parkinson found this one in Norfolk, UK.
What causes pink grasshoppers? Victoria Hillman, a wildlife biologist and photographer, explained a year ago in National Geographic. It's the result of a genetic mutation similar to albinism:
It is called erythrism an unusual and little-understood genetic mutation caused by a recessive gene similar to that which affects albino animals. This mutation results in one of two things happening or even a combination of the two; a reduce or even absence of the normal pigment and/or the excessive production of other pigments, in this case red which results in pink morphs. Although it was first discovered in 1887 in a katydid species, it is extremely rare to see these pink morphs so you can imagine our delight at finding so many in one area and they probably all have the same parents both carrying the recessive gene. All the individuals we found were nymphs and a couple of things can now happen if they make it to adulthood, they can lose the pink coloring altogether, they may stay pink or even be a variation between the two! We will be checking back on these individuals throughout the coming weeks and months to see what happens.

Fennec Fox Kits Born in Tel Aviv

The Zoological Center Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan welcomed two Fennec fox kits after a fifteen-year wait for a birth of the species. Fennec fox couple Penny and Louis de Fennec, both four years old, spent the 50-day gestation period of their offspring burrowing tunnels in their enclosure. The tunnels were an addition to their home to accommodate the new kits.Mother Penny was aggressive during the gestation and after the birth of her kits, an instinctive measure of protection. Penny hid her babies in the newly dug burrows soon after they were born. Their keepers kept their enclosure private at that time, in order for the mama and papa to have bonding time with their kits. Currently, keepers are slowly introducing them to their loving public.
Fennec foxes are native to the Sahara in Northern Africa as well as Northern Saudi Arabia. Their large ears not only cool the fox by losing excess heat, but they also enable them to hear predators from a great distance. The Fennec fox is a nocturnal animal, escaping the heat during the day as it rests in its burrow. The life span of the species is approximately ten years.

The Mountain Lions of Los Angeles

Freeways as fences, trapping the mountain lions of Los Angeles

That mountain lions have managed to survive at all in […]

Animal Pictures