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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Daily Drift

Keeping it straight ..!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

Everybody likes to kiss ... !
Today is  - Kiss And Make Up Day
Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Montreal, L'ancienne-Lorette, Toronto, Edmonton and Sainte-Rose, Canada
Bogota, Colombia
Uikah and Chanhassen, United States
Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro,  Brazil
Tipitapa, Nicaragua
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Prague, Czech Republic
Madrid, Torrent, Getafe and Pontevedra, Spain
Reykjavik, Iceland
Treviso, Bari, Milan and Pescara, Italy
Timisoara and Bucharest, Romania
Vilnius, Lithuania
Vinnytsya, Ukraine
Stockholm and Kista, Sweden
Square, Northern Ireland
Velizy-Villacoublay, Rouen and Cerny, France
Vratsa, Bulgaria
Slough and London, England
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Ryazan, Vladivostok and Moscow, Russia
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Donggongon and Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Batam and Tangerang, Indonesia
Tehran, Iran
Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
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Petah Tikva, Israel
Amman, Jordan
Annaba, Algeria
Arusha, Tanzania
Johannesburg, South Africa
The Pacific
Sydney and Melbourne, Australia
Manila, Philippines

Today in History

357 Julian Caesar defeats the Alamanni at Strousbourg in Gaul.
1346 Edward III of England defeats Philip VI's army at the Battle of Crecy in France.
1758 The Prussian army defeats the invading Russians at the Battle of Zorndorf.
1765 In protest over the stamp tax, American colonists sack and burn the home of Massachusetts governor Thomas Hutchinson.
1830 The "Tom Thumb" steam locomotive runs its famous race with a horse-drawn car. The horse wins because the engine, which had been ahead, breaks down.
1862 Union and Confederate troops skirmish at Waterloo Bridge, Virginia, during the Second Bull Run Campaign.
1864 Confederate General A.P. Hill pushes back Union General Winfield Scott Hancock from Reams Station where his army has spent several days destroying railroad tracks.
1875 "Captain" Matthew Webb becomes the first man to swim across the English Channel.
1916 The National Park Service is established as part of the Department of the Interior.
1921 The United States, which never ratified the Versailles Treaty ending World War I, finally signs a peace treaty with Germany.
1925 A. Phillip Randolph organizes the Sleeping Car Porters' Union.
1940 The first parachute wedding ceremony is performed by Rev. Homer Tomlinson at the New York City World's Fair for Arno Rudolphi and Ann Hayward. The minister, bride and groom, best man, maid of honor and four musicians were all suspended from parachutes.
1941 British and Soviet forces enter Iran, opening up a route to supply the Soviet Union.
1943 The Allies complete the occupation of New Georgia.
1944 Paris is liberated from German occupation by Free French Forces under General Jacques LeClerc.
1948 The House Un-American Activities Committee holds first-ever televised congressional hearing.
1950 President Harry Truman orders the U.S. Army to seize control of the nation's railroads to avert a strike.
1980 Zimbabwe joins the United Nations.
1981 Voyager 2 spacecraft makes its closest approach to Saturn.
1989 NASA scientists receive stuning photographs of Neptune and its moons from Voyager 2.
1989 Mayumi Moiyama, formerly head of Japan's Environmental Agency, becomes Japan's first female cabinet secretary
1991 The Airbus A340 makes its first flight.
1991 Belarus gains independence from the USSR.
1991 Croatian War of Independence: Battle of Vukovar begins, an 87-day siege of a Croatian city by the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA), supported by various Serbian paramilitary forces.
2012 Severe flooding in Burma.

Non Sequitur


5 Delightful Science Experiments From 100 Years Ago

In 1892, the dubiously named Mr. Tom Tit published a book of at-home activities for children called Magical Experiments: or, Science in Play. He made sure each scientific exploration could double as a parlor trick; something exciting and strange to impress as well as instruct.
Some of his experiments are all but impossible to do today, and some of his once common ingredients haven't been available at drug stores for decades. But if the product still exists, you can find it online. This accessibility re-opens a whole forgotten world of fantastic science fun, one that leaves the tired vinegar and baking soda volcanoes looking hollow.

50+ Humorous But Evil True Facts About Our Daily Life

Do you know that 90% of the times you discover spelling errors in an email, it's just after you've sent them? Or do you know which single most useful application Facebook is missing apart from their hundreds of existing applications?

63 Pepsi Flavors From Around The World

Pepsi is a carbonated soft drink that is produced and manufactured by PepsiCo. Created and developed in 1893 and introduced as Brad's Drink, it was renamed as Pepsi-Cola in 1898, then to Pepsi in 1961.

PepsiCo has produced a number of variations on its primary cola over the years which are sold all over the world, including these 63 flavors.

Haggling After Dark

The World's Most Interesting Night Markets
by Caitlin M. Kiernan
Cities all over the world are famous for their bustling street bazaars — you can haggle for spices in Marrakesh or buy local delicacies in Hong Kong. But the fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down. In fact, there is something even more alluring and special about markets that sell into the night — sprawling outdoor shopping bazaars with stalls crammed side by side that offer up everything and anything one could possibly want to buy, from one-of-a-kind fabrics to hard-to-find medicinal herbs. Originally, these merchant huddles began in Africa and Asia where the unbearable heat took a toll on daytime trade. Today, they are destination spots for first-rate food, live entertainment, and one-stop shopping. Here are the top 10 night markets in the world. Add one (or a few!) to your bucket list.

High beef prices force the return of ‘pink slime’

by Morgan Korn
Two years after consumer outrage forced meat processors and retailers to stop using “pink slime” — the ammonia-treated slaughterhouse remnants added to some ground beef — the dubious byproduct is back in the mix as beef prices rise and suppliers scramble to cut costs. 
Patty Lovera, assistant director at consumer advocacy group Food & Water Watch, notes in the video above that the renewed demand is certainly not coming from consumers. "I don't think most consumers have changed their mind and suddenly decided this is the type of ingredient they're looking for," Lovera says. "It’s economics.”
The additive was coined “pink slime” by former USDA scientist Gerald Zirnstein, who told ABC News in 2012 that “pink slime” was “not fresh ground beef” but a “cheap substitute being added in.” At the time, he said 70% of the ground beef sold in the nation’s supermarkets contained “pink slime." The product is made by separating the fat out from meat scraps and treating what's left with ammonia or citric acid to kill bacteria.
Following the public outcry, many food establishments, including McDonald’s (MCD), Kroger (KR) and Safeway (SWY), said they would no longer use “pink slime.” The Department of Agriculture said its school lunch program would stop serving it to students. As demand plummeted, the two largest producers of the ingredient, Beef Products Inc. and Cargill Inc., were forced to close plants and eliminate hundreds of jobs.
But BPI, which refers to its product as “lean, finely textured beef (LFTB),” announced last week it would start making LFTB again at a factory in Kansas. (The company sued ABC for $1.2 billion in 2012, claiming the network misled consumers over its "false and misleading and defamatory" reports; the suit is still pending). And Cargill’s executive chairman Gregory Page told The Wall Street Journal that sales of what his company calls "finely textured beef (FTB)" have “rebounded sharply from their 2012 lows” with sales rising about threefold from their lowest point. Cargill uses a slightly different process than BPI, treating the meat with citric acid instead of ammonia, and currently sells FTB to nearly 400 retail, food-service, and food-processing customers, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The USDA does not mandate labeling of products that include FTB and LFTB. Cargill began labeling its FTB meat in 2013. The USDA says the LFTB process is “generally recognized as safe” and therefore “it is not required to be included on the label of products.” The USDA also ruled that LFTB is “not filler; it is nutritionally equivalent to 95% lean beef and doesn’t contain connective tissue.”
“Pink slime” may be the cheaper alternative, but Lovera argues that food retailers should seriously consider whether it’s worth the price.
“The reason for the outrage was because people felt duped…there was no disclosure,” she says. “Retailers, grocery stores, and fast-food chains that are the closest to consumers have a lot of thinking to do if they want to use it and whether they want to tell people they're using it, or risk a backlash if people find out."
A Cargill representative told Yahoo that the company’s FTB, available since 1993, is “100% pure beef” and “is usually added to ground beef to increase the percentage of muscle protein to fat.” Neither Cargill nor the American Meat Institute would specify which retailers are currently using FTB and LFTB meat.

It's a bird...it's a plane...it's a $2M comic book?

by Morgan Korn
A piece of comic book history could be yours -- for a cool $2 million. Action Comics No. 1, regarded as the "holy grail of comic books" by collectors, wass up for auction on eBay (EBAY) until Sunday, Aug. 24 at 9pm PT (the current bidding was over $2.05 million as of Friday morning).
Action Comics No. 1, for non-comic book geeks, is the first-ever appearance of Superman, the iconic superhero created by Jerry Siegel and Fred Guardineer.
Only about 150 copies of Action Comics No. 1 still exist today, says Stephen Fishler, co-founder and CEO of Metropolis Collectibles, a New York-based comic book dealer and auction house. About 100,000 copies were produced in 1938 and each one cost a dime. The edition up for sale on eBay has a grade of "9" by CGC, an independent third-party comic book grading service. The highest grade is a "10."
Fishler and his partner Vincent Zurzolo have been wheeling and dealing in comic books for years (Fishler since the age of 5) and the duo have become famous in the comic book industry. They were the first to sell a copy of Action Comics No.1 for $1 million in 2010. A year later a buyer snatched up Nicolas Cage's copy for $2.161 million, the current world record. Fishler had sold the comic book to Cage in 2006 for $150,000. The final price tag shocked the entire comic book community, including Fishler. Now, the latest auction is threatening to set a new precedent.
"It's very possible the 2011 record will be broken," says Fishler in the video above. "There's a lot of people who want to own [Action Comics No. 1]. Limited supply and incredible demand creates a very valuable book."
Not all comic books are as prized and costly as Action Comics No. 1. Comic books printed in the "golden" years - from the late 1930s to the 1950s - and the "silver" years - from 1956 to 1970 - attract investors and fans with especially deep pockets. It was during these years that many household comic book characters were first introduced -- characters such as Superman (1938), Batman (1939), Spider-Man (1962), Wonder Woman (1941) and Thor (1962). Fishler says he sold a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 -- the debut of Spider-Man -- for $1.1 million, the highest sum paid for a "silver" comic.
Fishler believes the market for comic books has hit astronomical levels because many people are hesitant to invest in real estate and stocks after the financial crisis. Investors want a “hard asset that they can hold in their hand and has historical significance," he notes.
Individuals of all ages and income levels can invest in comic books. Fishler gives a few tips to get started on his company's site. His #1 rule: "Buy comics that feature characters, creators or stories you enjoy."

Buried treasure found in France

From a story in The Telegraph:
The men had been working at the property, situated in a village near Les Andelys and Vernon, for several days when they came across the hidden trove, estimated to be worth more than €900,000 (£700,200), hidden in glass jars...

Upon closer inspection, the workers unearthed several large glass jars containing 16 gold bars weighing 2.2lbs each, and 600 gold coins from 1924 and 1927. The stash had probably hidden for safekeeping during the Second World War, according to Paris Normandie.  
They didn't tell the homeowner, opting instead to divide up the treasure.  Then...
...tax officials homed in them after one of the men began depositing high-value checks, including one for €270,000. 
Showing once again how utterly, abysmally stupid some thieves are.   But I'll bet there are quite a few family fortunes that were created not by a hardworking ancestor, but by a lucky and discreet one.  And I'm sure there are more stashes like this one scattered throughout the continent.



No explanation offered as to why drunk driver was dragging tree behind his truck

A Florida police officer was sitting in a parked cruiser late on Monday night when an approaching truck caught his attention.
It could have been that the truck was speeding, perhaps it was the loud noise and the sparks that were flying from the rear as a chain bounced off the asphalt. Or maybe it was the tree that the driver was dragging as he drove along. The officer stopped the driver, later identified as Daniel Totulis, 21, of Gainesville, at around 11am at the entrance to the Apple Tree subdivision.
Totulis had glassy eyes, slurred speech and a strong odour of alcohol, according to a police report. Totulis told officers that he wanted to take a test to see if he was drunk. The officers conducted a field sobriety test and Totulis swayed while trying to stand, missed his nose with his finger two out of four times, and refused to walk a straight line.
During the test, Totulis told the officers to take him to jail because he knew he should not have been drinking and driving. He offered no explanation for why he was dragging a tree down the street late at night. He was arrested on a charge of DUI after his breath tests registered .190 and .185, twice the legal threshold in Florida for DUI.

Car containing man, dog, 40 chickens, AK-47, improvised explosives and marijuana rolled over

Just before 4am on Friday, Seth Grim was driving a Ford Explorer with Pennsylvania plates and rolled it over on Interstate 79 near Amma, West Virginia. A dog tried to jump out of the window, which might have helped cause the wreck.

Unfortunately, the dog later died and Grim was taken to the hospital with minor injuries to his upper torso. In the back of his explorer were 35 to 40 chickens along with an AK-47 and a large amount of ammunition.
 Also in the back of his vehicle was a device that police were extremely concerned about. The "improvised explosives" prompted a higher level of response. The West Virginia State Police Bomb Squad out of Williamson were sent to the scene and removed the device.

Initially, all of the chickens were reported to have made it out alive, however it is believed some of the chickens died. Grim, 21, is being charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Officers saw a quart jar of what they believed to be marijuana in the front seat. He's being held in the South Central Regional Jail on a $25,000 bond.

Lawyer fears client's horns and tattoos will have negative impact on jury in triple murder trial

The attorney for accused killer Caius Veiovis told a judge in Massachusetts on Thursday that he is concerned that his client's "unusual appearance" could make it hard for him to get fair jury. Veiovis, the last of three men heading to trial in the slayings of three Pittsfield men in August 2011, has horn implants and facial tattoos. "There's a serious factor of curiosity and concern when the jury first sees him," Veiovis' attorney, James G. Reardon Jr., said in Hampden Superior Court. Concern about Veiovis' appearance was one of several topics handled during a hearing Thursday leading up to the trial, which is scheduled to begin Sept. 3.
The prosecution's case could take as long as 2 1/2 weeks. Reardon said he had received a lot of suggestions on the subject of his client's appearance - much of it unsolicited - and he wanted to discuss how to handle the issue with the court. "I think we have to get it out there," he said, adding that he wanted to make sure potential jurors were able to clearly see his client's features. During Thursday's hearing, Veiovis had his shoulder-length hair pulled back into a ponytail, revealing his horn implants, a tattoo featuring Norse Runes - an ancient Germanic alphabet - across his right cheek and the numbers 666 in the center of his forehead. Reardon said he had heard "urban legends" concerning the numbers 666, but he wasn't fully aware of what it meant. He said jurors might have their own ideas on the subject.
Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless told the court he wasn't planning to go into any of the possible meanings of the tattoos or try "to connect them to the charges." The prosecutor suggested showing the potential jurors a close-up photograph of Veiovis, one that would likely be allowed into evidence during the trial. Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder said he was disinclined to have a photograph of the defendant on a screen while a jury was being chosen. "It rubs me the wrong way," he said. He decided that he would ask potential jurors if there was anything about the defendant's appearance that could keep them from being fair and he would let them look at Veiovis' photo at the time they are to be individually interviewed. Veiovis, 33, of Pittsfield, is accused of helping Adam Lee Hall, 37, of Peru, and David Chalue, 47, kidnap, torture, kill and dismember David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell in late August 2011 as Tropical Storm Irene was bearing down on the Berkshires.
Veiovis has denied three counts each of murder, kidnapping and witness intimidation. On Thursday, Kinder denied a motion by Reardon to keep out of the trial photographs that were taken of various weapons found at Veiovis's apartment during the police investigation. Police found machetes, knives and spiked bats during a search of the residence. None were taken since they tested negative for blood, according to testimony in the earlier trials. The judge said the images had "probative value" since they showed that the defendant had access to weapons. The firearms used in the killings and the tools used to dismember the bodies have never been recovered. Kinder likewise denied a motion to keep out anatomical and surgical illustrations found collaged on the wall of Veiovis' old apartment. A request by Reardon to once again move the trial, which was already moved out of Berkshire County due to pretrial publicity, also was denied. Reardon believes there would be more potential jurors who were unaware of the case further east.

Man killed wife over delay in serving tea

A 56-year-old Indian man killed his wife in Odisha, formerly known as Orissa, as she delayed serving him tea, police said on Friday.The incident took place on Wednesday at Guhalipal village, about 110 km from Bhubaneswar but came to light after police arrested the man a day later.
The trouble started on Monday morning when accused Mahalia Nayak asked his wife Jhana to serve him tea. Enraged by the delay he had a heated argument with her, investigating officer Dasarathi Nath said.
The trouble intensified when the man continued to argue with his wife after she refused to cook and serve him food, he said. Nayak raised the issue on Wednesday night and killed her with a sharp weapon, Mr. Nath said. Police have arrested Nayak after he confessed to the crime, he said.

Bank robber made getaway on bicycle with broken chain

Police in St. Louis, Missouri, have released surveillance images of a man who robbed a north city bank earlier this week. A spokesperson for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says the suspect entered the Commerce Bank shortly before 9:30am on Monday.
He handed a teller a piece of paper demanding money. The suspect's hand remained inside his pocket, leading the teller to believe he was armed. He did not show a weapon.
After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect ran across Natural Bridge, down an alley, and hopped on a bicycle that appeared to have a broken chain. Police describe the suspect as a black male between 30 and 35-years-old.
He stands between 6 feet and 6 feet, two inches tall and weighs between 220 and 250 pounds. He has a beard, and was last seen wearing a dark baseball cap, blue jeans, and a white t-shirt underneath a dark hooded sweatshirt. Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect should call CrimeStoppers.

Pizza delivery man reported witnessing fake murder to avoid getting fired for late delivery

Monroe County Sheriff's deputies in Hamlin, New York, say a pizza delivery man is facing charges. That after they say he reported a murder to police that never happened.
Deputies say 18-year-old Mason Requa called 911 and told deputies that he had witnessed a homicide at around nine o'clock on Wednesday night.
Requa, they say, gave a detailed description of the incident including descriptions about the suspects, type of weapon used and what clothing the victim was wearing.
Several agencies, including deputies, US Border Patrol and New York State Police searched for close to four hours until, investigators said, Requa admitted telling investigators that he made up the story because he was afraid he would be fired from his job for a late pizza delivery. Requa was charged with Falsely Reporting An Incident. He is due back in court next Tuesday.

Suspicious object at side of road turned out to be lightsaber taped to a stick

A person in the Mendenhall Valley neighborhood of Juneau in Alaska reported an unidentified object on the side of the road as a suspicious device.
The report on Tuesday afternoon prompted a police officer to respond to check it out - he didn’t know what it was, either. Police then dispatched an officer who specializes in Explosive Ordnance Disposal to investigate.
The officer quickly realized that it was a plastic Star Wars light-saber toy. “It was not explosive in any way,” Juneau Police Department spokeswoman Erann Kalwara said.
The confusion may have been in part because the plastic, expandable light-saber was taped to a stick and found in the closed position, she said. Kalwara noted the person who reported the device did not call 911 - he or she used the JPD business line.

"Siri, where should I bury my roommate?"

A young man in Florida is accused of murdering his roommate (details at The Telegraph).  Evidence at his trial will include information retrieved from his PDA
The Siri device, which had been accessed via Facebook, allegedly responded with the question: "What kind of place are you looking for? Swamps. Reservoirs. Metal foundries. Dumps."..

Detectives who accessed Bravo's phone found that he had used the flashlight facility for 48 minutes on the day of Aguilar's disappearance. 

Random Photos


Margot Robbie - Added to  Beauty Eternal  - A collection of the  most beautiful women.

'Haboob' Storm System Covers Palm Springs, California with Dust

Strong winds blasted dust and sand through the Southern California skies, including Palm Springs, creating a dust storm, known as a haboob.
The dust, whipped around by 40-mph winds, brought down trees and left drivers with low visibility.
Scott Pam was driving in the area Thursday night on his way home when he said he saw a “huge wall of sand and storm” approach and the storm strike. The wind ripped the door straps off his Jeep.
Pam, a photographer, pulled over on his drive between San Bernardino and Bermuda Dunes, California, and started taking pictures of the phenomenon.
ABC News meteorologist Dan Peck said, “The winds came from strong thunderstorms moving through the area Thursday night, which were more intense and numerous due to the ongoing monsoon season.You get an outflow of strong winds ahead of the storm and those winds whip up the dust and create the dust storm phenomenon.”
Haboobs are giant walls of dust resulting from the combination of strong winds and dry conditions. They are common in dry, desert areas, including Southern California and the Southwest, and are often seen in areas of the Middle East, where the name of the phenomenon originates.
“Haboob” comes from the Arabic word habb, meaning “wind.”
“The perfect combination of an ongoing drought, monsoon season and numerous severe storms in the region created the conditions for a dust storm in the area,” Peck explained.
The storm also bent trees across California’s Coachella Valley, but there were no reports of serious injuries.
A Palm Springs man was sent to the hospital after he was hit by an uprooted tree, ABC News affiliate KESQ reported.

The Odd And Controversial Fishing Island Of Migingo

Its hard to believe that a piece of land that barely covers half an acre would be a topic of much dispute, but Migingo Island, a tiny fishing island in Lake Victoria in eastern Africa, does just that.
Both Kenya and Uganda have claimed it's within their own territory, which causes a lot of tension between the fishermen from each country who believe they have the right to use it to fish. Most maps will show that Migingo Island is just barely within the Kenyan border, but Ugandan fishermen are adamant that they deserve the right to fish there. It's just a blip on a map, but it causes quite the uproar.

Countries That Look Like Other Countries

History and geography conspire to produce political boundaries at random. Each international border is the answer to a question that is contingent to a certain place and time, and irrelevant anywhere (and anywhen) else. Yet out of the chaos of chance comes the order of reality.
For even though the options are limited, the results are not: there are no Mickey Mouse-shaped countries. In fact, the forms and shapes of states can be classified in less than half a dozen morphologies. That's not where the convergence ends. Certain political entities are so similar in shape that they look like each other's double.

The Deadly Dewdrops Of The Drosera

Look closely, but be wary of touching. Those beautiful glistening drops of dew at the end of the plants you can see in these photographs are not quite what they seem. In fact, rather than being dew, that jewel of the earth, these gleaming globules are in fact mucilage.
Mucilage is a thick, extremely sticky matter which is produced by most of the plants on the planet. It helps the plant to store water and germinate its seeds and is even used as a kind of emergency food store in some plants. The Drosera, however, has a much darker reason for producing mucilage.

Daily Comic Relief


Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Brain Damage?

One day in 1976, psychiatrist Philip May asked his colleague at the University of California, Los Angeles a peculiar question: 'Why don't woodpeckers have headaches?' May specialized in treating schizophrenia, but proposed a radical shift: How, he wanted to know, might an animal that repeatedly slams its head into a tree trunk at 16mph keep from getting brain damage?

Chef killed by snake bite 20 minutes after cutting off its head

A chef preparing a dish made from cobra flesh died when the snake's head he had severed 20 minutes earlier bit him on the hand.
Victim Peng Fan - from Shunde, a district in the city of Foshan in southern China's Guangdong province - had been preparing a special dish made from Indochinese spitting cobra, a rare delicacy. But when he went to throw the serpent's severed head into the waste bin, it bit him - injecting him with its fast acting venom.
Police say Peng died before he could be given life saving anti-venom in hospital. "It is a highly unusual case but it appears to be just an accident. He prepared the snake himself and was just unlucky," said a police spokesman. Snake expert Yang Hong-chang, who has spent 40 years studying cobras, says all reptiles can function for up to an hour after losing body parts, or even their entire body.
He said: "It is perfectly possible that the head remained alive and bit Peng's hand. By the time a snake has lost its head, it’s effectively dead as basic body functions have ceased, but there is still some reflexive action. It means snakes have the capability of biting and injecting venom even after the head has been severed."

Disabled man in legal battle to keep his therapy cats

A man from Benbrook, Texas, who has been disabled since birth says he cannot live without his two “assistance cats” and has gone to court to keep them. Gary Coleman, 45, uses a walker and has spina bifida as well as a serious lung condition. He said he was told earlier this month by management at Mirabella Assisted Living in Benbrook that a “no pets” policy had been enacted for tenants who share an apartment. Ultimately, he was told to find another home for the cats, Rex, 12, and Milo, 8 - or move out, Coleman said. “Rex and Milo are not pets; they are therapy animals and they are my family,” he said.
“I have no family. I have no mother or father. My cats provide something that no family has ever given to me and that is emotional support.” Coleman, who has lived at Mirabella since 2012, according to the lawsuit, said he received a letter Aug. 1 of this year saying he needed to get rid of the cats by Aug. 10. A court petition filed on Monday says he pleaded with management to exempt Rex and Milo from the new policy, to no avail. He said he got a reminder letter on Aug. 7 and then a letter Aug. 11 saying his lease was being terminated, and he needed to move out by Sept. 11. Coleman is suing Mirabella, along with its director and parent company Segora Corp., alleging that management violated the Texas Fair Housing Act the Fort Worth City Code and the Texas Property code.

Refusal to make a “reasonable accommodation” for the animals constitutes unlawful discrimination under the Housing Act and the City Code, the lawsuit says. It says Mirabella “retaliated again him by terminating his lease,” which violates the Texas Property Code. Coleman also says the Mirabella is violating his lease, which he said allows the cats. Bryan McCaleb, president of Sagora Senior living in Fort Worth said that management has “attempted to make contact with Coleman and his attorney to resolve the situation: “We have reviewed all of the files and documentation and we do not have any documentation on the resident’s two cats being certified as therapy animals. We have requested from the resident, their legal counsel and Power of Attorney to provide us with the certified animal documentation which has not been provided as of today [Aug. 20].”
Randy Turner, an attorney representing Coleman, said he provided information from Coleman’s psychologist documenting the need for the therapy cats and added that Rex and Milo don’t have to be certified as therapy animals. “Mirabella simply does not understand the Fair Housing Act or the law on assistance animals,” he said. “There is no such thing as a certified therapy animal and the law does not require that an animal be certified in any way before a landlord must provide accommodations.” Turner also said that under the Fair Housing Act a landlord must provide a “reasonable accommodation” in order to not discriminate against a disabled person who relies on an animal for emotional support. The law doesn’t address situations in which someone must share an apartment, he said. Although the cats would be permitted in a private apartment, Coleman can’t afford one, Turner said. He receives $644 a month in Supplemental Security Insurance payments, and pays $630 a month for rent and meals at Mirabella.

Southern right whale goes surfing

Giant mammal is photographed catching a large wave off South Africa; a reminder that dolphins aren't the only cetaceans that like to surf
Surfingwhale copy
Southern right whale catches a wave off South Africa
A photo showing a southern right whale riding a large wave off South Africa this week is further evidence that bottlenose dolphins are not the only cetaceans that like to surf.
The image, which also shows a portion of shadow indicating the whale’s calf to her right, was captured this week by African Wings, a company that offers whale watching and sightseeing from the air.
The site was Walker Bay, and African Wings stated on its Facebook page Wednesday that southern right whales often approach very close to the surf zone. But large whales in general are rarely photographed surfing.
“Despite this being a relatively common occurrence we have had no incidences of a live whale stranding in Walker Bay, to the best of my knowledge,” reads the Facebook post.
Orca catches a wave off New Zealand
Apparently, the whales can sense when larger swells are about to develop, and react accordingly to avoid being caught inside.
African Wings continued: “A few years ago we were circling over a mother and calf that were lying just outside the breakers when they suddenly put on a burst of speed swimming straight out to sea. A few minutes later a freak wave broke about 50 meters outside of where they had been lying.
“I am of the opinion that somehow she could sense the wave approaching as they very rarely move so suddenly and rapidly.”
It’s not clear how large the wave in the photo is, but adult right whales measure about 60 feet, so the surf was definitely up.
Humpback whales catch a large set wave at Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii
And while researchers cannot state as fact that whales, same as dolphins, actually “like” to ride waves, they cannot come up with a better explanation as to why they sometimes ride them.
The larger cetaceans do not take to the waves as frequently as dolphins, of course, and footage of large whales riding waves is scarce. But the African Wings image brings to mind two fairly recent examples.
One involves surfing killer whales, or orcas, photographed in 2010 Sandy Bay, New Zealand, by Michael Cunningham of the Northern Advocate (second photo).
“They knew what they were doing,” Cunningham told the newspaper. “They looked like they’d done it before.” Cunningham had been bodysurfing when the orcas appeared, but quickly swam ashore to grab his camera.
The other involves two large humpback whales photographed riding waves at iconic Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii last December, by J.T. Gray of North Shore Surf Photos (third photo).
Bottlenose dolphin performs an aerial before an astonished surfer in Australia
“The whales were 75 to 100 yards east of Pipeline and playing for a while, then swam to about 10 yards outside of the lineup,” Gray said. “A set came in and the bodyboarder caught the first wave, and the humpbacks caught the second.”
Gray added, “Whales frequent Hawaii in the winter months, but never that close to shore.”
Of course the cetacean wave-riding masters are the sleeker, smaller bottlenose dolphins, and perhaps no image illustrates that better than one captured last September by Matt Hutton in Australia.
It showed a dolphin launching high out of the face of a wave in front of an astonished surfer (bottom photo).
“The surfer’s name is Trent Sherborne and, yes, he was a lucky surfer to not only ride one wave, but two with these dolphins,” Hutton said. “I was watching for about two hours and he was the only one I saw who managed to get a nice wave with the dolphins breaching.”
Sherborne later commented on Hutton’s Facebook page: “Mate, that’s a sick shot and it’s me on that wave with the dolphin! I remember that wave clearly–obviously you don’t get to eyeball a dolphin like that every day!”

Animal Pictures