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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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Daily Drift

Editorial Comment: Due to a moronic wingnut and/or wingnuts (they troll in packs you know), attempting to hijack and pervert this blog as they are wont to do because the truth and facts hurt their little deluded mind, we have changed our comment policy so that NO anonymous commentators will be permitted to comment on anything on/or about this blog and ALL comments will be reviewed prior to publication. We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause legitimate commentators but a few delusional malcontents have spoiled it for all the normal well adjusted people.
OK, so a Bacon Dress might be going a bit too far ..!
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Bacon ... !
Today is  - Bacon Day
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Today in History

30 BC Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt, commits suicide.
1617 Rosa de Lima of Peru becomes the first American saint to be canonized.
1721 The Peace of Nystad ends the Second Northern War between Sweden and Russia, giving Russia considerably more power in the Baltic region.
1781 The French fleet arrives in the Chesapeake Bay to aid the American Revolution.
1813 Creek Indians massacre over 500 whites at Fort Mims Alabama.
1860 The first British tramway is inaugurated at Birkenhead by an American, George Francis Train.
1861 Union General John Fremont declares martial law throughout Missouri and makes his own emancipation proclamation to free slaves in the state. President Lincoln overrules the general.
1892 The Moravia, a passenger ship arriving from Germany, brings cholera to the United States.
1932 Nazi leader Hermann Goering is elected president of the Reichstag.
1944 Ploesti, the center of the Rumanian oil industry, falls to Soviet troops.
1961 President John F. Kennedy appoints General Lucius D. Clay as his personal representative in Berlin.
1963 Hot Line communications link installed between Moscow and Washington, DC.
1967 US Senate confirms Thurgood Marshall as first African-American Supreme Court justice.
1976 Tom Brokaw becomes news anchor of Today Show.
1979 First recorded instance of a comet (Howard-Koomur-Michels) hitting the sun; the energy released is equal to approximately 1 million hydrogen bombs.
1982 Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) forced out of Lebanon after 10 years in Beirut during Lebanese Civil War.
1983 Lieutenant Colonel Guion S. Bluford, Jr., becomes the first African-American astronaut to travel in space.
1986 KGB arrest journalist Nicholas Daniloff (US News World Report) on a charge of spying and hold him for 13 days.
1983 Eiffel Tower welcomes its 150 millionth visitor, 33-year-old Parisian Jacqueline Martinez.

Non Sequitur


McConnell Promises Billionaire Donors He Won’t Waste Time On ‘Gosh Darn’ Minimum Wage Increases

by Josh Israel
"McConnell Promises Billionaire Donors He Won’t Waste Time On ‘Gosh Darn’ Minimum Wage Increases"
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
At a Koch Brothers-hosted secret strategy conference of right-wing millionaire and billionaire political agitators in June, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (r-KY) promised that if his party wins control of the United States Senate this November, the Senate will not waste time on things like increasing the minimum wage for people making only about $15,000 annually. Instead, audio of his remarks obtained by The Nation reveals, his Senate will focus on repealing Wall Street reforms, environmental protections, and affordable healthcare.
McConnell spoke at an annual event hosted by oil billionaires Charles and David Koch at the St. Regis Monarch Bay resort in Dana Point, CA. The conference, titled “American Courage: Our Commitment to a Free Society,” reportedly attracted hundreds of the nation’s wealthiest individuals and aimed to raise $500 million toward making McConnell the Senate majority leader next year and another $500 million to defeat a potential Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
McConnell, who has been attacked by his opponent for voting 17 times against minimum wage increases, made it clear that under his leadership there would not be any increase in the current $7.25 federal minimum wage. “And we’re not going to be debating all these gosh darn proposals. That’s all we do in the Senate is vote on things like raising the minimum wage,” he told the billionaires in attendance.
In the same speech, McConnell lamented the signing of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (“McCain-Feingold”) as “the worst day of my political life,” and praised the Supreme Court’s 5 to 4 Citizens United ruling for “[leveling] the playing field for corporate speech” and creating “the most free and open system we’ve had in modern times.” Thanks largely to that ruling, outside groups have already spent more than $8.5 million in support of McConnell’s own re-election and against his Democratic opponent.
At the same event, Republican Senate nominees Joni Ernst of Iowa, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Cory Gardner of Colorado, heaped praise on the Kochs and their extensive pro-repugican cabal political network, according to the Huffington Post.
As he did last week, McConnell told the wealthy agitators that a repugican majority would insert language into government spending bills that would require President Obama to repeal his administration’s principal accomplishments or risk another government shutdown.
McCONNELL: So in the House and Senate, we own the budget. So what does that mean? That means that we can pass the spending bill. And I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what’s called ‘placing riders in the bill.’ No money can be spent to do this or to do that. We’re going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board.
This comment seems to contradict his own pledge last October that “there will not be another government shutdown. You can count on that.”
A McConnell spokesman did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether he stands by these remarks.

Why wingnut christian Homeschoolers Are Fighting Standards That Don't Apply To Them

Opposition to the educational standards known as Common Core has come from an array of tea party covens, wingnut (non)think-tanks, Glenn Beck, and the Koch Brothers' unAmericans for nonProsperity - and a few voices on the left as well. But one of the most active sources of opposition has been an unlikely group: a christian wingnut cabal that works to defend the rights of homeschooling parents.Homeschoolers are not actually covered by the educational standards. Still, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has spent tens of thousands of dollars in opposition to the Core State Standards Initiative, including federal lobbying, a microsite, and even a fully produced 39-minute documentary. According to a press release, "HSLDA has been opposing Common Core since 2009 and, as public concern over the standards grew, HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris decided that creating a film about the standards would be the best way to make information about Common Core widely available." While HSLDA has tried to present these public school standards as an "immediate threat" to homeschooling families, critics from inside and outside of the homeschool movement wonder if it is part of a pattern of fear-mongering by an organization eager to maintain its membership base.

Photos Of People Being Shocked With A Stun Gun

Photographer, and amateur sadist, Patrick Hall came up with a shockingly good idea for a photo shoot- portraits of people who have just been hit with a stun gun.
Naturally Patrick couldn't do the shocking himself, and he felt like having an assistant deliver the shock might result in unnecessary bloodshed, so he brought in the subjects' significant others to do the shocking.

The result is a hilarious, and vicariously painful, series of portraits featuring people reacting to the shock with varying degrees of displeasure- some are handling it with a smile, others look like they've just been tortured by a lunatic, and a few look like they'll be out for revenge after the shoot.

Hangover Genetics

Some people get hangovers after a night of drinking, while others don't, and the reason may be in their genes, a new study of twins suggests.

It's The Same Everywhere

The Universal ‘Anger Face’

The next time you get really mad, take a look […]

We Ain't Happy

After Great Recession, Americans are Unhappy, Worried, Pessimistic

National survey: most don’t think economy improved last year or […]

Health and Gang Life

Gang life brings deep health risks for girls

Being involved in a gang poses considerable health-related risks for […]

Murder charge after inmate overdosed from eating pieces of cell mate's underpants

A jail inmate is dead and police say he died by swallowing drug-soaked underpants. Corey McQueary, 33, died at Jessamine County Jail on August 21. According to Kentucky State Police, another inmate, 55-year-old Michael Jones, soaked a pair of his underpants in liquid methadone while he was out on temporary leave.
He allegedly wore them back to the jail where he's accused of tearing them up and sharing the pieces with his cell mates, including McQueary. After ingesting the piece of drug-laced underwear, McQueary complained to the jail staff that he felt ill, but did not tell them he'd eaten the underpants.
He was checked out by a doctor, and was found dead early the next morning. Jailers said the methadone-soaked underwear is something that would be nearly impossible to catch. "Contraband is a constant problem at any facility across the state.
"You can do everything that you can do, you know strip searches, not allowed to bring anything such as books or any other paraphernalia into the facility," said Jon Sallee, Jessamine County Jailer. Jones has now been charged with McQueary's murder.

Malaysia Airlines's near-empty planes ply the world's skies, losing $2M/day

Malaysia Airlines, who suffered the unprecedented and tragic loss of two jets this year, is having an understandably hard time attracting passengers; though the circumstances of the two losses do not appear to be related to negligence or anything other than terrible, awful random chance.
The upshot is that the already-struggling airline is lofting increasingly empty planes, hemorrhaging money as it goes. It's a very good time to fly Air Malaysia, assuming you don't suffer overmuch from superstitious dread, as the fares are dirt cheap and your travel agent friends are getting double commission on tickets. And you're likely to get a whole row to yourself and some very attentive (if somewhat anxious) in-flight service.

Online versions are not saving newspapers

The blue line in the chart displays total annual print newspaper advertising revenue (for the categories national, retail and classified) based on actual annual data from 1950 to 2011, and estimated annual revenue for 2012 using quarterly data through the second quarter of this year, from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA). The advertising revenues have been adjusted for inflation using the CPI, and appear in the chart as
millions of constant 2012 dollars. Estimated print advertising revenues of $19.0 billion in 2012 will be the lowest annual amount spent on print newspaper advertising since the NAA started tracking ad revenue in 1950...
Further details and analysis at Carpe Diem

Random Photos



Paper Dresses And Psychedelic Catsuits

When Airline Fashion Was Flying High
In the mid-century, flying was just cooler. Flight attendants - and even the ramp workers - had fabulous clothing designed by the likes of Emilio Pucci, Jean Louis, and Pierre Cardin. Beautiful stewardess wore wild psychedelic getups, space-bubble helmets, and paper dresses as they served the elite crowd that was wealthy enough to afford air travel.
Collectors Weekly talked to two collectors about changes in airline style.


An A-Peel-Ing History
According to one legend, the fruit that Eve found irresistible in the Garden of Eden was not an apple, but a banana. Is it true? Who knows? But for thousands of years, the banana has been a source of pleasure... and sometimes trouble.

The Mystery Of Extraordinarily Accurate Medieval Maps

One of the most remarkable and mysterious technical advances in the history of the world is written on the hide of a 13th-century calf. Inked into the vellum is a chart of the Mediterranean so accurate that ships today could navigate with it. Most earlier maps that included the region were not intended for navigation and were so imprecise that they are virtually unrecognizable to the modern eye.
These beautifully detailed portolan charts present historians with a puzzle: How were they made? A mathematical analysis offers some clues.



CT Scans of Taung Child’s Skull Challenge Development Theory

Taung-Child-Skull-Facebook Kristian Carlson of the University of the Witwatersrand, Ralph L. Holloway of Columbia University, and Douglas C. Broadfield of Florida Atlantic University have examined the skull of the Taung Child and its fossilized endocast with microfocus X-ray computer tomography. They found that the young Australopithecus africanus individual lacked the cranial adaptations found in modern human infants and toddlers, which allow for brain growth, as had been suggested by an earlier study. The researchers argue that the unfused patch of connective tissue between the two halves of the frontal bone of the skull, and the so-called “soft spot” on a modern human child’s head, may not even have been selectively advantageous to early prefrontal lobe expansion in hominin evolution. “We’ve demonstrated the misdiagnosis in Taung, and we believe it would be prudent to assess whether the presence of these features—unfused metopic sutures and open anterior fontanelles—may have been misdiagnosed in the additional specimens,” Carlson told Live Science.

Stoned Migration

Ancient stone artifacts recently excavated from Saudi Arabia possess similarities to items of about the same age in Africa.

The Urban Oil Fields Of Los Angeles

In the 1890s, the small town of Los Angeles (population 50,000) began a transformation driven by the discovery and drilling of some of the most productive oil fields in history. In the decades that followed, many wells closed, but even more opened, surrounded by urban and suburban growth. Machinery was camouflaged, loud noises were abated, methane pockets were vented, as residents learned to live side-by-side with oil production facilities.
To this day, oil fields in the Los Angeles Basin remain very productive, and modern techniques have centralized operations into smaller areas or moved offshore. Here are images of some of the sites and machinery still in use among the homes, golf courses, and shopping malls of Los Angeles.

Racetrack Playa mystery in Death Valley solved

Racetrack Playa researcher Richard Norris standing by a trail likely formed more than a decade before this December 16, 2012 photo. Trails can last for years or decades between pond-forming events. Photo: Richard Norris courtesy of Scripps OceanographyFor decades, scientists have been trying to figure out how rocks moved across a dry lake bed and left trails behind, but now they know blown ice sheets cause it
Racetrack Playa researcher Richard Norris standing by a trail likely formed more than a decade before this December 16, 2012 photo. Trails can last for years or decades between events.
The phenomenon of the “sailing stones” on Racetrack Playa in Death Valley National Park has baffled scientists for decades.
By some mysterious force of nature, rocks move along the flat-as-a-pancake playa and leave long trails behind. What causes the stones to move?
Wet_Trails_JMN One popular theory was that strong winter winds upward to 90 mph combined with just enough rain to make the clay slippery caused the stones to “sail.”
Another is that ice sheets pick up the rocks, or ice forms around the rock enabling it to move with the wind, leaving a series of rock trails.
But now, the mystery is solved.
Scientists can say conclusively that these synchronized trails left by rocks, some up to 700 pounds, are caused by thin sheets of ice pushing the rocks across the desert floor under certain conditions, a theory that had been previously dismissed in 1976 after a test.
The conclusion was reached by a team led by paleobiologist Richard Norris of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, with the results published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.
Scripps Oceanography details the phenomenon in this six-minute video (it also illustrated the event on a whiteboard):
As part of the Slithering Stones Research Initiative, researchers custom built motion-activated GPS units and fitted them into 15 rocks and placed them on the playa in the winter of 2011, with permission from the National Park Service. They expected it would take five to 10 years before something happened.
A GPS tracking unit was fitted into 15 rocks that were placed on the Racetrack Playa. Photo by Richard Norris courtesy of Scripps Oceanography
A GPS tracking unit was fitted into 15 rocks that were placed on the Racetrack Playa.
Ralph Lorenz, one of the paper’s authors from Applied Physics Laboratory at John Hopkins University, called it “the most boring experiment ever.”
But in December 2013, something happened.
“Science sometimes has an element of luck,” Norris said. “Only two years into the project, we just happened to be there at the right time to see it happen in person.”
Three inches of water covered the playa and shortly after their arrival, rocks began moving. The study showed that sailing rocks require a rare combination of these events:
1. The playa fills with water deep enough to form floating ice during cold winter nights but shallow enough to expose the rocks. 2. As overnight temperatures drop, the pond freezes to form thin sheets of “windowpane” ice. 3. When the sun comes out, the ice begins melting and breaking up into large floating panels. These ice panels, driven by light winds, push the rocks ahead of them, leaving trails in the soft mud below the surface. When the playa dries out months later, the trails become clear.

Example of  “On Dec. 21, 2013, ice breakup happened just around noon, with popping and cracking sounds coming from all over the frozen pond surface,” said Richard Norris. “I said to Jim [Norris, a cousin], ‘This is it!’”
Indeed it was.
Forget hurricane-force winds, the rocks were moved by quarter-inch thick ice panels by light winds of 10 mph. The rocks moved only a few inches per second or a speed deemed imperceptible at a distance without a stationary reference point.
“It’s possible that tourists have actually seen this happening without realizing it,” said Jim Norris of the engineering firm Interwoof in Santa Barbara. “It is really tough to gauge that a rock is in motion if all the rocks around it are also moving.”
Lorenz said the last suspected movement previously was in 2006, so rocks may move only about 1 millionth of the time, and there is evidence to suggest that the frequency of rock movement has declined since the 1970s because of climate change.
Racetrack Playa is partly flooded shortly after the December 21, 2013 move event in which hundreds of rocks scribbled trails in the mud under the floating ice. Oceanography Asked if the mystery of sliding rocks has finally been solved, Richard Norris replied, “We documented five movement events in the 2 1/2 months the pond existed and some involved hundreds of rocks. So we have seen that even in Death Valley, famous for its heat, floating ice is a powerful force in rock motion. But we have not seen the really big boys move out there….Does that work the same way?”
No word whether the Slithering Boulder Research Initiative is now forming.

The world's most famous iceberg

Because Titanic.
The iceberg lay at latitude 41-46N, longitude 50-14W, off the coast of Newfoundland. Newspaper reports of the time said that the visible part of the iceberg – that above the waterline – was anywhere between 50 to 100 feet high and 200 to 400 feet long.

The chief steward on board the Prinze Adelbert liner took the photo of the iceberg on the morning of the Titanic sinking.

Reports say he spotted a line of red paint along the bottom of the iceberg which experts believe show where it had made contact with Titanic.

Journal.ie reports that the steward was not aware at the time that it had been the iceberg that sunk the Titanic but the location, the marks on the iceberg and Titanic survivors’ descriptions of the iceberg triangulated to confirm that it was.
A tip of the blogging hat to the elves at QI, who made mention of this iceberg on their always-excellent podcast.

Daily Comic Relief


Brown Dwarf Water

The coolest brown dwarf discovered so far appears to have water clouds in its atmosphere, giving this sub-stellar object a very planet like characteristic.

10 Strange Secrets Of The Moon

The Moon is humanity's nearest companion in our travels in space and the only celestial body that we have had the chance to actually visit. Still, despite its relative closeness and familiarity, our satellite continues to hold many interesting secrets.
From its scientific strangeness to the many ways it affects our lives, the Moon is a mystery that is definitely worth a closer look.

The Origins of Flight

Flapping baby birds offer clues to origin of flight

How did the earliest birds take wing? Did they fall […]

Loyal dog spent almost two weeks without food lying by his master's grave waiting for his return

A dog in Chennai, India, stayed almost for a fortnight next to the grave of his 18-year-old master, who had adopted him, waiting for his miraculous return after he had been killed in a road accident. The brown mongrel went without food, braved sun and rain, but refused to move in an extraordinary display of loyalty. Blue Cross of India volunteers spotted the dog sitting near the grave in the open burial ground near Avadi Bridge, Blue Cross of India general manager Dawn Williams said. "When we attempted to rescue the dog, it stubbornly resisted and refused to budge," Williams said. "It just scratched the grave and whined." The volunteers then spoke to people who lived nearby. "We met a local resident who said the dog belonged to Bhaskar. He died after being hit by a speeding vehicle on August 2. Bhaskar's mother, Sundhari, 50, is a construction worker who lived in a shed near the building site," Williams said.
When the team went to Sundhari's house she said the dog, Tommy, had been her son's pet for five years. After his death, the animal had disappeared. She accompanied the team to the grave. The emaciated dog staggered towards Sundhari and crouched near her feet. "Sundhari clasped the dog, held its neck to her face and cried," Blue Cross volunteer Mukund J said. Sundhari, a widow, said life had become meaningless after the death of her only son.
But the pet that had remained steadfast to her son, even after his death, could be a reason to live, she said. "She took Tommy with her and returned home," Mukund said. Residents said she had gone back to her native home in Tiruvannamalai and had taken the dog with her. "Dogs, like humans, can love, suffer, and grieve," Peta India CEO Poorva Joshipura said. "We hope everyone who is moved by the story of this faithful companion will care for dogs by adopting a stray or volunteering at an animal shelter."

Animal News

Celebrity marsupial becomes the latest Internet celebrity of the animal kingdom.
A puzzle that has niggled mathematical minds for years has been solved, researchers say.
Spiders get a personality boost from hanging out with the same group day in and day out, new research finds.
Catch a glittering glimpse of photos from the most complete audit yet taken of marine life in the Antarctic Ocean.

Animal Pictures