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

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Daily Drift

Keeping it straight ..!
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Today in History

79 Mount Vesuvius erupts destroying Pompeii, Stabiae, Herculaneum and other smaller settlements.
410 German barbarians sack Rome.
1542 In South America, Gonzalo Pizarro returns to the mouth of the Amazon River after having sailed the length of the great river as far as the Andes Mountains.
1572 Some 50,000 people are put to death in the 'Massacre of St. Bartholomew' as Charles IX of France attempts to rid the country of Huguenots.
1780 King Louis XVI abolishes torture as a means to get suspects to confess.
1814 British troops under General Robert Ross capture Washington, D.C., which they set on fire in retaliation for the American burning of the parliament building in York (Toronto), the capital of Upper Canada.
1847 Charlotte Bronte, using the pseudonym Currer Bell, sends a manuscript of Jane Eyre to her publisher in London.
1869 Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York, patents the waffle iron.
1891 Thomas Edison files a patent for the motion picture camera.
1894 Congress passes the first graduated income tax law, which is declared unconstitutional the next year.
1896 Thomas Brooks is shot and killed by an unknown assailant begining a six year feud with the McFarland family.
1912 By an act of Congress, Alaska is given a territorial legislature of two houses.
1942 In the battle of the Eastern Solomons, the third carrier-versus-carrier battle of the war, U.S. naval forces defeat a Japanese force attempting to screen reinforcements for the Guadalcanal fighting.
1948 Edith Mae Irby becomes the first African-American student to attend the University of Arkansas.
1954 Congress outlaws the Communist Party in the United States.
1963 US State Department cables embassy in Saigon that if South Vietnam's president Ngo Dinh Diem does not remove his brother Ngo Dinh Nhu as his political adviser the US would explore alternative leadership, setting the stage for a coup by ARVN generals.
1975 The principal leaders of Greece's 1967 coup—Georgios Papadopoulos, Stylianos Pattakos, and Nikolaos Maarezos—sentenced to death for high treason, later commuted to life in prison.
1981  Mark David Chapman sentenced to 20 years to life for murdering former Beatles band member John Lennon.
1989 Colombian drug lords declare "total and absolute war" on Colombia's government, booming the offices of two political parties and burning two politicians' homes.
1989 Baseball commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti bans Pete Rose from baseball for gambling.
1991 Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the Comunist Party of the Soviet Union; Ukraine declares its independence from USSR.
1992 Hurricane Andrew makes landfall in Florida. The Category 5 storm, which had already caused extensive damage in the Bahamas, caused $26.5 billion in US damages, caused 65 deaths, and felled 70,000 acres of trees in the Everglades.
1994 Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) create initial accord regarding partial self-rule for Palestinians living on the West Bank, the Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities.
2004 Chechnyan suicide bombers blow up two airliners near Moscow, killing 89 passengers.
2006 Pluto is downgraded to a dwarf planet when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines "planet."
2010 The Mexican criminal syndicate Los Zetas kills 72 illegal immigrants from Central and South America in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Non Sequitur


Inspirational Stories In Wake Of Ferguson Violence Getting Short Shrift From National Media

The many instances of truly inspirational and positive work being done by people and organizations from the Ferguson area have gone largely (and sadly) ignored by the media…

In the aftermath of 18-year-old unarmed Mike Brown’s shooting death on August 9th, the majority of media attention in and around Ferguson has been centered on the protests in the community and the violence that has resulted on a near nightly basis. Media descended upon the city after images of militarized police taking over the streets of Ferguson breaking up protests were shown far and wide. The media frenzy really picked up after reporters from the Huffington Post and Washington Post were arrested last week while in a McDonald’s. At that point, every media outlet wanted to get a piece of the ongoing story.
While the juicy storyline revolved around an outsized police presence, armed with tear gas, rubber bullets and military-style armored vehicles, clashing with demonstrators, the many instances of truly inspirational and positive work being done by people and organizations from the Ferguson area have gone largely (and sadly) ignored by the media at large. Reporters and photojournalists who traveled to Ferguson did so with the hope to get shocking images and maybe build up their own national profile. Daytime hours were mostly spent tracking down protesters or waiting around for something to happen.
Meanwhile, there were tons of positive images and stories right under their noses that they could have easily reported on and sent to readers and viewers. On a daily basis, immediately after the protests first started, residents would scour the streets in the morning to clean up trash and help repair damaged property. This continued even though some properties and businesses were damaged and ransacked repeatedly. At the same time, while some business owners have said they may not reopen due to the economic damage they’ve sustained, others, like Muhamad Yaacoub of Sam’s Meat Market, has insisted that he will keep his store open and stay in the heart of Ferguson.
The death of Brown highlighted the long-standing racial disparity in Ferguson. Despite blacks making up two-thirds of the population, the police force is only 6% black, the mayor is white and the vast majority of government officials are white. With this knowledge, community organizers and everyday citizens have decided to push for residents to be more politically engaged. Voter registration booths have been set up with the hope that young people will get registered and become more engaged moving forward. St. Louis Alderman Antonio French has said that he is opening an office on W. Florissant Ave. to further assist with voter registration and activism in the community.
Kayla Reed in Clayton Wednesday night
Kayla Reed in Clayton Wednesday night
And it isn’t just community organizers and political leaders that are getting more involved in Ferguson. Young residents of the community have taken this call to action to heart. I spoke with one, Kayla Reed, after the clergy-led protest march in Clayton Wednesday night. Reed has helped start an organization called Justice Core. The objective is to engage other young people in the community to get involved in the political process. Reed and others have gone through the protests every day meeting with younger demonstrators and speaking with them about the need for further action. The organization has received direct assistance from local artists, such as Tef Poe and Corey Black.
Reed wants to make sure that once the media glare is gone, the advocacy continues. She and the organization are working tirelessly to build up relationships with other leaders as well as the young people who need to remain engaged. Along with the work Reed and Justice Core are doing, there are countless other examples of everyday citizens pulling for their community and doing what they can to bring some positivity to Ferguson in the wake of a tragedy. It’s just a shame that those stories don’t draw ratings.

The Counter-Terrorism Response in Ferguson

The response from Ferguson and St. Louis county police to residents peaceable assembly was itself an injustice …

The Founding Fathers considered the “right of the people peaceably to assemble” such an important right that they included it in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution’s all-important Bill of Rights. In this nation’s history, peaceable assembly has been a necessary and crucial tool for groups and individuals to bring public attention to support an agenda or inform some kind of injustice. After a Ferguson police officer murdered an unarmed African American teenager for jaywalking in Ferguson Missouri with apparent impunity, the local community peaceably assembled to bring the nation’s attention to yet another injustice of law enforcement killing another unarmed African American.
The response from Ferguson and St. Louis county police to residents peaceable assembly was itself an injustice, and it appears there is a reason that reveals how local law enforcement officials regarded African Americans gathering in their own neighborhoods. The overwhelming show and use of military force that created the unrest in Ferguson has caught the attention of the entire world, including people in nations that have themselves been the victims of tactics more apropos in a combat zone than a small community neighborhood. One group that immediately identified with Ferguson protestors being confronted with militarized police is the Palestinian people. In fact, Palestinians were so moved by the plight of Ferguson residents they took to social media to offer advice to protestors on how best to deal with “painful effects of tear gas” and how to get around “various tactical oppression” used by military police. They also expressed empathy and solidarity with African Americans for the unwarranted oppression they faced for assembling peaceably.
It turns out that a little over three years ago the St. Louis County Police Chief was part of a delegation of law enforcement officials who traveled to Israel to study counter-terrorism tactics. Counter-terrorism incorporates practices, tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments and militaries adopt to attack terrorist threats and acts, both real and imputed. It is likely that local law enforcement officials in and around Ferguson consider the peaceful African American protestors terrorists to have brought out military hardware and “counter-terrorism” tactics, because the response was completely out of line for demonstrators and peaceful protests. However, the response was nearly identical to Israel’s reaction to peaceful Palestinian demonstrators.
Apparently many of the same counter-terrorism techniques Israeli’s use on Palestinians protesting peacefully are precisely the same techniques peaceful protestors suffered at the hands of law enforcement on the streets of Ferguson. The St. Louis police chief learned how Israel’s police, intelligence, and security forces prevent terror attacks when he was briefed by members of Israel National Police and the Israel Defense Forces, and implemented the strategies to deal with peaceful African Americans calling attention to the injustice of another unarmed African American gunned down by law enforcement. It is no wonder Palestinians in Gaza recognized the tactics used against peaceful African American protestors in Ferguson.
The Palestinian’s empathy with Ferguson protestors is likely because this year 16 Palestinians, most of whom were unarmed, were killed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. Like the police treatment of protestors and media in Ferguson, Palestinians do not have the freedom to demonstrate, or protest, even in their own villages. One infamous example is a small village, Nabi Saleh, that regularly protests nearby encroaching settlements appropriating the villager’s freshwater spring only to have their peaceful demonstrations suppressed by tear gas, rubber bullets and “skunk trucks.” It is why Palestinians see themselves in Ferguson protestors and commiserate with their plight.
Palestinians were not the only people to see the injustice meted out on peaceful demonstrators. In an ironic slap in America’s holier-than-thou humanitarian hypocritical face, a spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the government is “closely following the escalation of protests and demonstrations in the city of Ferguson and reactions thereto.” The spokesman said “the United States should deal with protests according to the American and international standards,” but they obviously do not comprehend that in America there is a different set of standards for unarmed African American protestors than for heavily-armed white conservatives where law enforcement does show maximum restraint and respect. The Egyptian spokesman also noted that U. N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon agreed with Egypt and said “the international community’s position towards these events calls for restraint and respect for the right of assembly and peaceful expression of opinion.” China, Russia, and Iran also called on America to exercise restraint against peaceful protestors that were treated more as terrorists according to the counter-terrorism tactics employed by law enforcement in Ferguson.
Interestingly, the Egyptian and U.N. language urging restraint and respect for peaceable assembly is a reiteration of at least three separate calls from America for Egypt’s military to show restraint against protestors. It makes sense that oppressive regimes in China, Iran, and Egypt recognized the lack of restraint and respect for peaceful protests and called for America to toe the line they preach, but it is not a surprise that Israel never called for restraint against a minority group peaceably protesting a long line of injustices towards a minority people.
One cannot help but wonder how long law enforcement in and around St. Louis has waited to employ the counter-terrorism tactics the St. Louis county police chief learned during his tutelage in Israel. The rapid deployment of militarized police at the first sign of peaceful demonstrations inclines one to believe law enforcement was anxious to put in practice what the chief learned in Israel, and the immediate recognition of the tactics by Palestinians implies that there is little, if any, difference between the law enforcement response to Ferguson demonstrators and the Israeli reaction to Palestinian demonstrators.
Whether law enforcement in Ferguson knows it or not, unlike Palestinians, American citizens, all American citizens, have the constitutional right to assemble peaceably without interference and attacks from militarized law enforcement. Peaceful protestors are not terrorists and do not warrant counter-terrorism tactics used against them because they are minorities. It is necessary to repeat that when angry, heavily-armed white men gathered to confront federal agents executing a federal court order, law enforcement did not treat them like the domestic terrorists they are. It is a sad commentary indeed that in a nation with a constitutional guarantee of the right to peaceably assemble, American citizens received the same treatment as Palestinians Israel has labeled terrorists. Likely because St Louis county law enforcement learned Israeli counter-terrorism tactics they could hardly wait to use on African Americans they regard and treated as terrorists.

St Louis Police Busted On Tape For Falsely Claiming Killed Suspect Charged Them

st louis police
St Louis police shooting caught on camera, and it doesn’t tell the same story as the officers claimed. There’s no way around the fact that this video does not show the shot-and-killed suspect “charging” the police. Officers allege he had a knife, and he does appear to be holding something in his right hand, but it’s small and it’s not raised.
Under the rules of engagement, this is a fail.
Watch here via Anderson Cooper on CNN, please note that CNN cut this exactly when the man was shot and fell for sensitivity reasons:
Officers justified this by saying they had a right to defend themselves, and they claimed that the suspect had his knife in an “overhead grip” and refused to drop it. This is blatantly inaccurate:
According to police, the suspect pulled out a knife and was acting erratically when officers arrived. Dotson told reporters the suspect told responding officers to “shoot me now, kill me now.” Dotson said officers asked the suspect to drop the knife, which he was holding in an overhead grip, and the suspect refused to do.
When the suspect approached the officers carrying a knife, officers fired shots striking the suspect. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting.
When asked about the validity of the shooting, Dotson said officers “have a right to defend yourself.”
Two officers are called to a location after a clerk reports a robbery of two energy drinks and a pastry by a man known in the community to be “disturbed”, according to CNN. It’s unknown if the clerk reported this fact, but the community members say this is why the police should “know” their community.
The suspect first backs up and then goes over a curb, walking toward the two armed police officers who have their guns trained on him. Officers tell him to stop, but he doesn’t. He is saying “Shoot me”, according to CNN, but I couldn’t hear this part of the tape. His arms are at his side. He doesn’t appear threatening, although he may be holding some kind of weapon in his right hand (police said it was a knife).
At this point, police shoot him dead.
Both officers shot him multiple times. It is an unnecessary and disturbing amount of gunfire, especially given the fact that he at most had a knife and was feet away from them.
Under the rules of engagement for the use of deadly force, the goal of law enforcement is to protect the community and themselves, while working to de-escalate the level of engagement. It can be very challenging for people who are in the line of fire, so to speak, to determine what level of threat is being posed. That’s why police are trained so heavily.
This is the same kind of training we give the military. Over and over again, they go through scenarios where the intent is for them to quickly and accurately access who is and is not a threat. In war situations, this can be incredibly difficult with multiple stimuli from every direction, unfamiliar territory, and unfamiliar customs.
This is why we spend so much money and time training our troops. This is part of why those of us who argue for responsible gun ownership argue that everyone who owns a gun should be trained properly how to use it.
In this scenario, the suspect is not threatening the police. Even if he had an unraised knife and was advancing toward them, he did not pose an imminent threat to two armed police officers whose guns were trained on him.
It is this kind of obvious fail at accuracy when recounting the actions of the victim that concern people and that raise the suspicions of the folks in Ferguson regarding the police claims about the 18-year-old recently shot and killed Mike Brown.
If St Louis police are so afraid of people who have stolen a pastry and two energy drinks or maybe an alleged cigar, they might need to be replaced with folks who can handle petty crimes with less of a trigger finger. It seems like these boys don’t get out much.
Poverty, mental illness and being a different color than the police officer should not predispose someone to being shot for a petty crime. It should not waive the rights of the suspect. It’s not the police’s job to dispense their idea of “justice”. It is their job to enforce the law and make arrests.
If a highly trained officer and a partner brought two loaded and aimed guns to a knife fight, they wouldn’t get to automatically claim they were threatened and in fear for their life based on an arm that was raised that allegedly held a knife. If that arm turns out not to have been raised, they have even more explaining to do.

The repugican Reaction to Ferguson Shows They Cannot be Trusted to Govern America

America's wingnuts have proved in the wake of the killing of Mike Brown that minorities will have no justice under repugican governance.…
Kevin Sorbo, not content to hate on atheists, has added blacks to his list by claiming that the protesters in Ferguson, MO, are “animals” and “losers.”
TV’s Hercules is starting to sound like Joe the Plumber, or Ted Nugent. And America, as you can see from the photo above, is starting to look like an American run by Ted Nugent.
Pictures, as they say, are worth a thousand words. In my thousand words then, I shall try to go deeper than this AP photo, or to at least provide some useful context.
“Ferguson riots have very little to do with the shooting of the young man. It’s an excuse to be the losers these animals truly are,” Sorbo wrote on Facebook, and that is certainly how the police sniper above seems to feel.
Sorbo’s Facebook post that has since been removed and replaced by an ” apology.”
The police have yet to apologize.
What Sorbo originally wrote was,
It is a tipping point to frustration built up over years of not trying, but blaming everyone else. The Man, for their failures. It’s always someone else’s fault when you give up.
That sounds like the House of Representatives to me. Sorbo has described John Boehner to a tee.
Sorbo said that the death of Mike Brown should serve as a “reminder to the African Americans that their president they voted in has only made things worse for them, not better.”
Their president. Not Sorbo’s.
And don’t get excited by his so-called apology. What he says is, “Yes. I am an idiot and do hold myself accountable for the way my post came off.”
Not what he felt, but how it came off. As apologies go, it’s not much of an apology. But then, what conservative apology is?
What Sorbo told TMZ is that he was, like politicians, “taken out of context”:
Like politicians always say, things are taken out of context,” he said. “Look, I’ve got plenty of friends from all races and all religions and all colors and all breeds. I’m hardly a racist.
Oh, I don’t know, I think the context was pretty clear. Much more telling was his previous claim that the protesters in Ferguson, MO, are “animals” and “losers.”
And for Sorbo, the media are “nothing more than agitators.”
The media promote chaos to boost their pathetic ratings. We should shut them all off and watch clips on the internet only when republished under fair use by a conservative media watchdog group.”
Oh boy. Sorbo is pumping in the Kool Aid via IV. He’s not even drinking it anymore. A conservative watch dog group. Really. Why bother when we have Fox News editing clips 24/7 to make Obama say things he never said.
We’ve already got Faux News’ expert assessment of Ferguson from a member of their Medical A-Team, Keith Ablow, who says Ferguson residents hate whites (heck, I’m white, and I’m beginning to hate me some whites too) and are psychologically suspect.
Sorbo’s suggestion is like suggesting we ask Joseph Goebbels to tell us about the jews. Of course, that logic behind that no doubt sounds perfectly reasonable to wingnuts, who love to ask the people responsible for America’s debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan to tell us how to solve the problems they created.
This is all disgusting.
Is it less disgusting than Ben Carson’s claim that it wasn’t the police who killed Mike Brown, but political correctness and the young man’s lack of a father figure? Carson, one of the repugican cabal’s token blacks, wants the “agitators” and “criminals” in Ferguson punished, saying they need to “teach [their] children to respect authority.”
This is pretty much like Ted Nugent’s Wing Nut Daily piece blaming liberalism for the death of Mike Brown, not wingnut fueled racism, like his own. If President Obama is a sub-human mongrel to Nugent, what are the folks of Ferguson?
It’s a shame Kevin Sorbo again fails to see the extent to which Nugent’s column is an example of “blaming everyone else.”
Like Laura Ingraham, Carson praised Cliven Bundy and his gang of rebels. At that time, with a wealthy white man involved, it was important to “stand up against the government” and martial law was a sign of government oppression.
Carson also got with Steve Malzberg of Newsmax to compare the Ferguson protestors with Hamas. Crazy as it sounds to compare the people of Ferguson to Hamas, Carson told Malzberg that “political correctness is in the process of destroying this nation.”
So no, Kevin Sorbo is far from alone in demonizing the people of Ferguson, MO, who have lost not only some of their numbers to police bullets, but even their status as human beings. They have become not frustrated people dealing with rampant racism and oppression, but terrorists.
America’s wingnuts have proved in the wake of the killing of Mike Brown that minorities will have no justice under repugican governance. They can expect to be controlled, however, and taught authority via tear gas and bullet.
Token blacks like the Quisling Ben Carson will cheer them on.
In repugican America, white folks are the real victims, particularly the fake-christian variety, and every time wingnut fueled hate results in another victim, repugicans know who to blame: liberals and the black victims themselves, who, we are told, are literally begging for the police to shoot them.
The sad truth is that repugicans could shoot Mike Brown, so in a collective sense, they did. They can’t shoot President Obama, though they’d like to, so they’ll settle for tearing America apart around him, suing him, impeaching him, and throwing him in prison where they have proven they think black men belong.
The repugicans are outraged that in the wake of these egregious examples of racism that blacks in Ferguson are registering to vote, but the real impetus to vote comes not from liberals, but from the repugicans themselves, who have made the most compelling argument possible that they cannot be trusted to govern America.

Rick Perry's Bad Week

Republican Presidential Hopeful Rick Perry Speaks To The Media In New York City
Rick Perry’s awful week got even worse when the Pentagon’s press secretary went on national television and shutdown Perry’s claim that ISIS is invading the U.S. over the Southern border.
Transcript via CNN:
BOLDUAN: Admiral, I want to get your take on — we’re looking at the threat, obviously, the most immediate threat in that region. But of course Americans are wondering how immediate is threat to the homeland, to the U.S.
The governor of Texas, Rick Perry, he spoke about the threat to the United States by ISIS in talking about the border. Let me play you a little bit of what he said, and I want to get your take.
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: I think there’s the obvious grave concern that because of the condition of the border from the standpoint of it not being secure and us not knowing who is penetrating across, that individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be — and I think it’s a very real possibility that they may have already used that.
BOLDUAN: Is that a serious concern of the Pentagon?
KIRBY: Well, again, we have concerns about ISIL growth and their strength and their global aspirations.
BOLDUAN: Which is coming through the border with Mexico?
KIRBY: I’ve seen no indication that they are coming across the border with Mexico. We have no information that leads us to believe that.
That said, we do know they have aspirations to hit western targets and it’s something, as Secretary Hagel said yesterday, that we’ve got to take seriously and we have to try to be ready for it.
Rick Perry was making things up, and he got called out for it. Gov. Perry’s comments at Heritage the other day were an expansion of the comments that he made earlier this month on CNN when he claimed that the kids arriving at the Southern border were terrorists. Less than two weeks ago, Perry said, “I’m the governor of the state of Texas. My citizens safety is what’s foremost here, and it hasn’t got anything to do with anything other than those numbers of individuals who are coming across the border and when you think about the idea that some of them are from countries that have substantial terrorist ties whether it’s Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Syria we are at historic record highs with individuals being apprehended from those countries. We say that it’s time to secure the border. Hadn’t got anything to do with anything other than the American citizens expect Washington to respect the Constitution and secure the border.”
He has no proof that ISIS is crossing the Southern border, and for his purposes Perry doesn’t need any. This is all about creating a distraction away from his felony indictment, and giving himself another issue to run on 2016. Rick Perry is styling himself to be the great terrorist fighter from Texas, but terrorists are coming across the border, it also means that he has done a lousy job of keeping his state safe.
The Pentagon wasn’t about let Gov. Perry spread baseless fear. There is no evidence that ISIS (ISIL) has entered the United States over the Southern border. Perry invented a terrorist invasion in order to combine the terrorism and immigration issues. Perry is trying to create a distraction because he doesn’t want the media looking too hard at his behavior in Texas. It doesn’t take much digging to uncover Perry’s real motives behind his illegal attempt to force the Travis County DA to resign.
Rick Perry wants to be president in the worst way, the Pentagon is not going to let him invent his own rumors and spread fear about ISIS. Instead of the White House, Rick Perry may be trading his political ambitions in for an orange jumpsuit. This is the fact that Perry is trying to hide behind talk of ISIS invading America through Texas.


Hazardous response team sent to rescue elderly woman injured in maze

A 'highly skilled' hazardous response team was called to rescue an elderly woman who fell and injured herself in the 10 acre Blake House Craft Centre maze in Braintree, Essex.
The woman was rushed to hospital on Tuesday afternoon after falling at the 8-foot-tall maize maze at around 2.30pm. The hazardous response team is described as highly skilled and able to "work in difficult environments".
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: "An elderly woman injured her arm when she fell in a maze.

"As she was in a maze, it was quite difficult for our crews to transport her out using their normal equipment so we dispatched HART who have a specialist piece of equipment that was used to stretcher the woman out. She was then taken to Broomfield Hospital for further assessment and treatment."

Women caught on camera stealing freshly laid lawn

When Bobby Stacey reviewed footage from a newly installed CCTV camera outside his home in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, he was surprised to see two middle age-looking women creeping along a footpath and making off with bundles of his neighbor's freshly laid lawn.
They returned again and again and on each occasion, pulled up large sections of the turf before hurriedly carrying it down the street until more than half of the new lawn was pilfered. "I couldn't stop laughing," Mr Stacey said. "I was annoyed at the same time though. The reason I got the CCTV in the first place is because my shed had been broken into a few weeks earlier and a load of tools were stolen.
"So I put padlock on the shed. Then the thieves came back and used my own bolt cutters to cut the lock and steal a mountain bike. It's just cheeky." Mr Stacey said his neighbor had spent the previous day laying the new grass. "The guy spent all day leveling that ground, making it look good and then to come out the next morning and it's gone. It's just terrible."

Lancashire Police confirmed the incident was reported to them. "Police have investigated this incident," a spokeswoman said. "We're at the stage that there are no further lines of inquiry but would appeal to anyone with information to come forward." Mr Stacey said the thieves moved in on the turf shortly after 5am and that the theft took around 40 minutes to complete. "They even took a cigarette break," he said.

Moron repugican: Obama's 'Muslim Brothers' Preventing Further Action Against Terrorists In Iraq

A repugican 'warned' Americans that President Obama would not be able to adequately protect the nation from the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) - the terrorist organization that has taken over large parts of Iraq - because the administration's policy is being guided and influenced by "muslim brothers."
Appearing on SiriusXM's "The Wilkow Majority,"  Louie Gohmert (r-TX) argued, "if you're Commander-in-Chief you can't be listening to muslim brother advise on when it's time to stop destroying muslim brothers."
The comments was a reference to the Texas moron's delusion that the U.S. government has been infiltrated by the muslim brotherhood, a group that Egypt recently opted to reclassify as a terrorist organization. In 2012, Gohmert joined a small coven of wingnuts  led by Michele Bachmann (r-MN) to demand that the Inspectors General of four government agencies investigate "deep penetration" by the muslim brotherhood in the U.S. government. The Obama administration condemned the idiots for using false and inaccurate information to smear "anyone that happens to be muslim."

Deported Lithuanian burglar returned to UK to retrieve hidden stolen jewellery

A deported burglar was caught and re-jailed when he returned to Peterborough to retrieve stolen jewellery he had hidden under floorboards. The home of Alexandra Kalandrani was ransacked by Lithuanian Marius Siurkus in March. He was jailed for burglary in June. After release he was deported, but was found 10 days later back in the city.
Siurkus, 32, and accomplice Mantas Pronckus, 27, pleaded guilty to burgling the house Ms Kalandrani shared with her mother. Pronckus is currently serving a two-year sentence, but Siurkus, jailed for a year, was released earlier this month and deported to Lithuania. On 13 August, just 10 days after he was deported, he was identified as a suspect in an assault investigation in Peterborough. On 15 August Siurkus was arrested by Cambridgeshire Police at his old home in St Martin's Street.
Officers noticed floorboards in the property had been lifted, and a quantity of jewellery from the burglary was discovered. The "irreplaceable" jewellery, given to Ms Kalandrani by her mother, who died three months after the burglary, has now been returned to her. "I'm extremely happy. Sadly some of the more sentimental items have not been found, but it's just bizarre," Ms Kalandrani said. "I'm excited to have the jewellery back, but also frustrated because there's been a failure somewhere.
"I don't understand how someone can walk back into the country so easily despite being deported." Cambridgeshire Police said Siurkus had returned to prison to serve out the rest of his sentence. No further action took place over the assault. Det Con Jason Hancock said: "We will continue to track down and arrest those responsible for burglary and tackle offenders who ignore deportation orders." The Home Office, which monitors UK immigration and customs controls through its Border Force section, refused to comment on whether measures were in place to prevent deported prisoners such as Siurkus re-entering the country.

Top 8 Most Innovative Pinball Machines Of All Time

Early pinball machines were built without flippers. Instead of the now-standard paddles, users pulled a plunger to shoot balls onto the playing field, aiming for holes that were worth various point values.

From the invention of solid-state guts to holographic playing fields, from the advent of anti-cheating devices to online user mods, here's the evolution history's most mechanical video-game console.

12 Untranslatable Words (And Their Translations)

Words like the Portuguese saudade, or Danish hyggelig, can only truly be understood by speakers of those languages. Right? We'd all like to believe in untranslatable words.
It's such a romantic thought: that there exist out there, like undiscovered desert islands, ideas we have never even conceived of. Carefully guarded by foreigners they have endured down the centuries, nuggets of culture overlooked by the rest of the world.

If You're Born In The Sky, What's Your Nationality?

An American woman is about to board a plane and, pregnant as she is, they let her on. Her flight, on Lufthansa Airlines, will leave Frankfurt, Germany, and travel nonstop to the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean.
Hours later, just as her plane passes 37,000 feet above Karachi, Pakistan, heading south, her baby, in an inconvenient act of impetuosity, decides she wants to be born right then, right there. So , we've got an American mom on a German airplane in Pakistani airspace.

Human News

Have we already done this video? Hmmm. Nope! Deja Vu -- that feeling of already having experienced something -- can be a bit spooky. Just as unnerving is that no one knows for sure why we experience it.
Aug 21, 2014 07:21 AM ET
You're in the shower, rinsing, repeating, and then - BAM! - inspiration strikes. You come up with the cure for cancer. OK, maybe not that much inspiration strikes, but you DO feel sharper of mind. SourceFed's William Haynes drops by to explain why.
Ancient Paleolithic people in Spain ate snails as part of their regular diet, new research suggests.

Random Photos

The Monumental Cemetery Of Staglieno

One of the largest cemeteries in Europe, the Cimitero monumentale di Staglieno in Genoa, Italy covers more than a square kilometer. It opened in 1851 and since then has gained a reputation for its monuments to those buried there.
And what monuments they are. It is a place for contemplation, for reflection on human frailty and the short-lived nature of our time on earth.

10 Little-Known But Amazing Structures Of The Ancient World

The Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu and the Great Pyramid of Giza are just a few of the names that come to mind when talking about architectural wonders of the ancient world.
But unknown to many, there are equally numerous other impressive structures that ancient human civilization has left behind for us that will certainly leave you completely stunned. Here are 10 of the little-known but amazing structures of the ancient world.

Archaeological News

A copper awl is the oldest metal object unearthed to date in the Middle East.
The seated, wingless sphinxes were likely placed there to guard the large burial site.

Oklahoma Gets Hit With 20 Earthquakes In One Day

Oklahoma's Geology Survey recorded an unprecedented 20 small earthquakes across the state on Tuesday, highlighting the dramatic increase of seismic activity that has occurred there as the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing - otherwise known as fracking - has spread across the state.
Though 18 out of the 20 earthquakes that occurred Tuesday were below Magnitude 3, rendering them mostly imperceptible, the largest one registered as a 4.3 near Guthrie, a city of more than 10,000 residents. And while U.S. Geological Survey scientists have said that Oklahoma is historically known as "earthquake country," they also warn that quakes have been steadily on the rise; from 1978 until 2008, the average rate of earthquakes registering a magnitude of 3.0 or more was only two per year.
"No documented cases of induced seismicity have ever come close to the current earthquake rates or the area over which the earthquakes are occurring," the Oklahoma Geology Survey said in a recent presentation addressing the alarming increase in quakes. By "induced seismicity," the OGS is referring to minor earthquakes that are caused by human activity, whether that be fracking, mass removal mining, reservoir impoundment, or geothermal production - anything that could disrupt existing fault lines.

Mysterious, Giant Half-Mile-Long Crack Splits Ground In Mexico

Scientists in Mexico are puzzling over a giant fissure that has split the ground in the northern part of the country.
The crack, which runs for nearly two-thirds of a mile, measures close to 30 feet deep and is just more than 15 feet across at its widest spot. Locals found the geographical oddity Tuesday night when it split a rural road in half 50 miles west of the city of Hermosillo in the Mexican state of Sonora, according to Excelsior, a Spanish-language news source.
A video of the split, recorded from a drone, follows the arc of the chasm, which in some spots looks wide enough to swallow a truck. Check out the video above.
While some believe seismic activity is to blame -- the USGS reports Mexico is one of the world's most seismically active areas, and a magnitude 5.0-quake occurred earlier this month off the coast near Hermosillo -- others point to an underground stream that eroded the ground above it.
Expreso, a Mexican newspaper, cites social media reports of heavy rainfall in the area prior to the rift opening. The newspaper also reports that the crack opened last Friday, instead of Tuesday, as Excelsior reports.
In any case, says Martín Valencia Moreno, the head of the National Autonomous University of Mexico's Regional Station of the Geological Institute, there's no cause for alarm.
"It's definitely not a cause for alarm for the population," Moreno told Excelsior in a statement translated here:  "it's more something sensationalist and people like to encourage that sort of thing."
He added that he doesn't believe an earthquake is to blame, because "when a fault is generated the levels generally move and here we see people walking on both sides of the trench, the two levels are still in place, one side isn't raised and the other hasn't sunk either."

Daily Comic Relief


'Thigh Bone' On Mars Seen In New Curiosity Photo

by Dominique Mosbergen
thigh bone marsNASA’s Curiosity rover has spotted a "thigh bone" on Mars -- or at least that’s what some paranormal types would have you believe. The folks at UFO Blogger wrote this week that the rover’s MastCam had captured a photograph of a "fossilized thigh bone" on the red planet on August 14.
The object certainly resembles a fossilized femur, but the odds that it's anything other than a weird-looking rock are, well, astronomical.
Over the years, people eyeing pictures from Mars have claimed to have seen everything from an iguana to a finger to weird faces.
But NASA hasn't been too impressed.
"On Mars, as on Earth, sometimes things can take on an unusual appearance," NASA wrote on its website last year after a strange, "shiny" object was spotted on the Martian surface.
NASA said at the time that while the "shiny-looking rock" resembled a car door handle or another metallic object, its actual identity was probably a bit more prosaic. As Ron Sletten, a scientist on the Curiosity team, indicated on the agency's site, "the object is an interesting study in how wind and the natural elements cause erosion and other effects on various types of rocks."

The First Stars

Chemical signature of ancient star suggests it incorporated material blasted into space by a supernova explosion from huge star in early universe.

Humans Have Created A New Top Predator That Is Taking Over The Northeast

By Jennifer Welsh
Humans are no newcomers when it comes to messing around with nature. While we haven't created Frankenstein's monster yet, what we do messes with the natural world. One recent example is the creation of the coywolf — a hybrid of the coyote and the wolf that is also known as the Eastern coyote.
These animals have a completely new genetic make up: Their genes are about 1/4 wolf DNA and 2/3 coyote DNA, the rest is from domesticated dogs. They were created when previously separate wolf and coyote populations merged in the land north of the Great Lakes.
Here's the coyote, which traditionally maxes out at 75 pounds and has pointier features, and readily populates cities:
2009 Coyote Yosemite 
And this is what a wolf looks like. Wolves, are usually bigger, weighing in at about 100 pounds, and prefer more wild habitats.
Wolf,_voor_de_natuur,_Saxifraga_ _Jan_Nijendijk.5097 
While the grey wolf and the coyote are each other's closest living relatives, the two animals separated evolutionarily one to two million years ago. These hybrids have only really emerged en force during the last few decades, as wolves were hunted and forced north and coyotes moved east from the Great Plains.
According to the New York Times' Moises Velazquez-Manoff: "[The coywolf] can be as much as 40 percent larger than the Western coyote, with powerful wolflike jaws; it has also inherited the wolf's more social nature, which allows for pack hunting."
Specifically, this genetic combination of the two animals seems especially well suited to its northern habitat — better suited than either parent species. The wolf genes allow the coyote to take down bigger prey, while the coyote genes let them adapt to cityscapes and other metropolitan areas.
To study the hybrids better, scientists went ahead and made some 50/50 hybrids in the lab, mating female coyotes with male grey wolves. That's not exactly like the wild coywolves, but it's similar. And gives scientists a better idea of how successful a mating between the two species would be. While two pregnancies didn't result in live offspring, one litter created six puppies.
Here's the result:
Generally the hybridization of species gives evolution something to work with to deal with tough times. When food is low because of climate change or your habitat is being destroyed by humans, these animals can turn out to be tougher or more adaptable than their parent species (though many aren't and many turn out to be sterile).
So, how did these hybrids come to be? Well, as Velazquez-Manoff writes in the New York Times magazine:
The emergence of the Eastern coyote, however, shows how human activity can break down the barriers that separate species. Perhaps the most obvious way in which humanity is altering the natural world is through climate change. The Arctic, where its effects are especially evident, is warming between two and four times as fast as the rest of the planet. Spring thaws now arrive weeks earlier; winter freezes come weeks later. Shrubs are invading once-barren tundra. Animals at high latitudes — where related species tend to have diverged more recently and can therefore interbreed more easily — are shifting their ranges in response to rising temperatures and melting sea ice. As they do, they may encounter cousins and hybridize.
This is what a wild coywolf looks like. This one was spotted in West Virginia.
Coyote wolf hybrid coywolf

Dog found science disc 50 years too late to get five shillings reward

A dog has found part of a science project in the shape of a disc - 50 years too late to get a reward. Barney the collie brought the red plastic disc to his owner David Russell, after finding it on Silecroft beach, in west Cumbria. It had been thrown into the Irish Sea in the 1960s as part of a study into water movement and gone adrift.
Mr Russell, of Batley, West Yorkshire, returned it to Bangor University but was too late to get a five shillings - the equivalent of 25p in today’s metric system - reward The drifter disc had been released by John Harvey, now a retired oceanographer, who was then working in the university's marine science laboratory.
The disc was one of many released as part of the project and most never came back - this one being washed up more than 100 miles (161km) up the north west coast. Mr Russell said: "There must be something about the currents that bring things to this beach - I've previously found a meteorological balloon here." Mr Harvey said he found it "disturbing" that the plastic had lasted so long - a copper weight attached had eroded away.
"The research told us about the movement of seabed and sea-surface currents in the Irish Sea, and the results were published in a journal in 1968. We typically had return rates of about 34% for our drifters", he explained. The plastic has a very long life in the sea - it is in a good condition after 50 years, which is somewhat disturbing - unfortunately there is far too much plastic in the world's oceans generally."

Animal News

Domestication has resulted in dogs that are so submissive, they suppress their innate smarts and independence, a new study has determined.
Scientists have been puzzled by the fact that hummingbirds maintain such a sugary diet without a sweet-taste receptor.
Fisherman off Florida's Gulf Coast loses shark on his line to another fish with more immediate plans for the small blacktip.
As they filter water, the bivalves' tissues absorb some of the chemicals and pathogens that are present.

Animal Pictures