Welcome to ...

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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Daily Drift

Hey wingnuts - This means you ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

Hope you got ready yesterday because time's up ... !
Today is  - Time's 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
Turlock, Oberlin, Mankato and Montevallo, United States
Joliette, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec, Calgary, Saint John's and Etobicoke, Canada
Sao Jose Dos Campos, Sao Paulo and Londrina, Brazil
San Juan and Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Pereira, Colombia
Ecatepec, Mexico
Managua, Nicaragua
Tirana, Albania
Zagreb, Croatia
Prague, Czech Republic
Boulogne-Billancourt and Velizy-Villacoublay, France
Gragnano, Ivrea, Rome, Ravenna and Naples, Italy
London, Nottingham and Slough, England
Waterford and Dublin, Ireland
Arendal, Norway
Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Madrid and Cadiz, Spain
Vinnytsya, Ukraine
Hamburg and Hannover, Germany
Riga, Latvia
Leiden and Bergen Op Zoom, Netherlands
Zurich, Switzerland
Reykjavik, Iceland
Bang Kapi and Bangkok, Thailand
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Sayhat, Saudi Arabia
Kyoto, Japan
Ujjain, Kolkata, Bangalore, New Delhi, Pune, Coimbatore, Mumbai, Patna and Bikaner, India
Vacoas, Mauritius
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Tel Aviv, Israel
Karachi, Pakistan
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
Al Jizah, Egypt
Tunis, Tunisia
The Pacific
Homebush and Heidelberg, Australia
Cebu City, Philippines

Today in History

1630 The town of Boston is founded by John Winthrop as an extension of the colony at Salem. It is named after the town of the same name in Lincolnshire, England.
1787 The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia approves the constitution for the United States of America.
1796 President George Washington delivers his "Farewell Address" to Congress before concluding his second term in office.
1862 The Battle of Antietam in Maryland, the bloodiest day in U.S. history, commences. Fighting in the corn field, Bloody Lane and Burnside's Bridge rages all day as the Union and Confederate armies suffer a combined 26,293 casualties.
1868 The Battle of Beecher's Island begins, in which Major George "Sandy" Forsyth and 50 volunteers hold off 500 Sioux and Cheyenne in eastern Colorado.
1902 U.S. troops are sent to Panama to keep train lines open over the isthmus as Panamanian nationals struggle for independence from Colombia.
1903 Turks destroy the town of Kastoria in Bulgaria, killing 10,000 civilians.
1916 Germany's "Red Baron," Manfred von Richthofen, wins his first aerial combat.
1917 The German Army recaptures the Russian Port of Riga from Russian forces.
1939 With the German army already attacking western Poland, the Soviet Union launches an invasion of eastern Poland.
1942 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill meets with Soviet Premier Josef Stalin in Moscow as the German Army rams into Stalingrad.
1944 British airborne troops parachute into Holland to capture the Arnhem bridge as part of Operation Market-Garden. The plan called for the airborne troops to be relieved by British troops, but they were left stranded and eventually surrendered to the Germans.
1947 James Forestall is sworn in as first the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
1957 The Thai army seizes power in Bangkok.
1959 The X-15 rocket plane makes its first flight.
1962 The first federal suit to end public school segregation is filed by the U.S. Justice Department.
1976 The Space Shuttle is unveiled to the public.
1978 Egypt and Israel sign the Camp David Accords.
1980 Nationwide independent trade union Solidarity established in Poland.
1983 Vanessa Williams becomes the first black Miss America; relinquished crown early after scandal over nude photos.
2001 The New York Stock Exchange reopens for the first time since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers; longest period of closure since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
2006 Alaska's Fourpeaked Mountain erupts for the first time in at least 10,000 years.
2011 Occupy Wall Street movement calling for greater social and economic equality begins in New York City's Zuccotti Park, coining the phrase "We are the 99%."

Non Sequitur


Little North Korea

A Concentration of North Korean Refugees in London

Communities of Korean immigrants can be found across the world, but few of them from North Korea because it's hard to escape from that country-sized prison.
About 20,000 Korean immigrants live in New Malden, a suburb of London. Approximately 600 are from North Korea, which is among the highest concentrations of North Korean refugees anywhere in the world. In Europe, New Malden is the closest thing to a "Little Pyongyang." Roxy Rezvany of Vice visited New Malden and interviewed several of the North Korean residents.

One of the more interesting parts of Rezvany's article was about the Korean languages--plural. Since the country was divided after World War II, North Korean has become noticeably different from South Korean. She quotes Joong Wha:
“In North Korea we used a lot of foreign words from Russia, Japan, and China,” he said. “But there was a [regime] movement called the ‘Making Our Own Language Alive’ movement. Through that we got rid of all the foreign-influenced words. All the words [North Koreans] use now are ‘pure Korean,’ so my generation learned these pure words. Therefore, when I converse with South Koreans and they use these words influenced by English, I sometimes don’t understand what they mean.”

Meet the World's Most Dangerous Women

The real-life killers, fanatics, and spies you'd be well-advised to steer clear of
Nisreen Mansour Al Forgani  
Approximate age: 21
Alleged crimes: Murder, lots of murder. Nisreen was a member of Muammar Gaddafi’s all-female militias and in the early days of the Libyan civil war executed as many as 11 rebel prisoners at point blank range. When she was captured, Nisreen said she was coerced. A family friend forced her to join the militia, she said, and military officials sexually abused her. When she killed, it was only because her refusal would have resulted in a bullet to her own head.
Why she’s scary: Because she’s seriously tough. To escape the Libyan army, Nisreen jumped from a second floor window, got hit by a truck and limped away from the compound where she was forced to kill. Trained as a sniper, Nisreen now has every reason to exact revenge against the Libyan military officials who raped and controlled her. And if she’s forced to kill again, what’s one more on her already lengthy body count?

The repugican Economic Policies Are Creating a Downgrade Frenzy In States Across The Country

The pattern is unmistakable; repugicans are not prepared to manage finances or an economy whether it is at the state or federal level and the reason is always the same…
There is a fairly good reason most Americans do not allow their teenage children to have unrestricted access to the family’s finances or manage the household budget. It is likely the same reason that when parents send their child off to college, they put them on a strict budget with the proviso that when the monthly allowance is exhausted and the collegian need more spending money for books and supplies, they will have to get a part-time job. Many Americans have heard horror stories of new college students gaining access to a credit card and immediately throwing wild parties to impress their friends with no comprehension that without an adequate revenue source they will be unable to pay off their debt. One does not have to be Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman to comprehend that sound financial theory and a healthy economy is predicated on adequate revenue as well as controlling spending.
The repugicans typically have a childish, drunken-frat boy approach to economics and budget that prevents them from understanding the simple economic concept that revenue is an integral part of finance and budget. Americans with an iota of memory are aware that over the past few decades, it has been left to Democrats to repair the nation’s economy after repugican juntas run up unsustainable debt due to their opposition to revenue coupled with their childish habit of spending to impress their wealthy friends with tax cuts. Although many Americans are unaware of repugican economic ineptitude, credit rating agencies are not.
This week another repugican misled state, New Jersey, received two more credit downgrades from credit rating agencies S&P and Fitch that bring the total to eight downgrades since Christie took office in 2010. Christie’s economic ineptitude is not an aberration among repugican misled states, and New Jersey joins Kansas and Michigan as the latest states to attract attention of credit agencies. Standard and Poor’s downgrade followed closely on the heels of Fitch’s downgrade last week and in a statement explaining the action, S&P directly cited a common complaint against repugican misled states; “major revenue shortfalls” directly related to Christie’s refusal to fund the state’s public worker pension fund according to the law.
S&P explained their downgrade by noting that under Christie, “New Jersey continues to struggle with structural imbalance and the governor’s decision to reduce pension contributions in fiscal 2014 and 2015 highlights the fact that the state lacks the revenues to comply with its own agreed-on contribution to the pension system. In our view, the governor’s decision to delay pension funding has significant negative implications for the state’s liability profile.” Democrats, like Fitch and S&P, had already taken note of Christie’s economic malfeasance and said his junta was a “national embarrassment.” Democratic National Committee press secretary Michael Czin said, “From his failed economic record to his junta’s gross misconduct during Bridgegate, Chris Christie has failed his state time and again, and now, it doesn’t even look like he’s trying anymore. Instead of working with Democrats to solve the state’s long-term problems, Christie’s busy campaigning for repugicans who apparently want to emulate his failed leadership.” The repugicans are not emulating Christie’s economic failures, they are simply following the long-standing wingnut delusion that revenue is of Satan the Devil and has no place in repugican economic policy at the state or federal level.
As has been reported, another repugican misled state, Kansas, has suffered credit downgrades credit rating agencies has cited is due to devastating revenue shortfalls as a result of giving inordinately large tax cuts to the rich. This is after Governor Sam Brownback inherited a budget surplus he promptly squandered on tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations that were supplemented with an extra billion dollars Brownback promised would result in a job creation bonanza. Kansas trails the entire nation in job creation.
In Michigan, repugican Rick Snyder’s so-called corporate business acumen has the state’s finances in trouble. In June, Standard and Poors and Fitch both downgraded Michigan’s credit outlook due to” softening in projected fiscal 2014 revenues, expected slow economic growth, and a decline in general fund revenues. S&P cited, like they did in Kansas and New Jersey, the lack of state contributions to distressed localities, pension obligations, as well as school districts due to revenue shortfalls. There was, as usual, plenty of revenue available for tax cuts for the rich and corporations though, like in Kansas and New Jersey.
Although he is long gone, while governor of California, repugican Arnold Schwarzenegger presided over several severe downgrades due to revenue shortfalls and out-of-control debt to fund tax cuts for the rich. In seven years, the debt tripled while schools, services, and roads went unattended that left a Democrat with a proper economic crisis to repair. Within a couple of years, a taxpayer-approved, and a miniscule tax increase coupled with new environmental regulations has the state economy in the black, the debt is being paid down, schools and roads being funded, and California leading the nation in jobs created and economic prosperity.
It is worth noting that in 2011 America’s stellar credit was downgraded for the first time in its history, and ratings agency S&P specifically cited repugican political intransigence and refusal to end the shrub-era tax cuts for the rich starving the nation of much-needed revenue. Throughout the fight to end repugicans’ largesse to the wealthy and continuing to the present, repugicans claim the country does not need more revenue, it needs to cut services, government, and let the nation’s infrastructure completely deteriorate because “America is broke.” However, the country is never too broke to give more tax cuts to the rich. In fact, repugicans are so vehemently opposed to revenue to fund America they fight tooth and nail to allow corporations and the wealthy keep their trillions offshore because according to wingnut delusion; if the federal or state governments have adequate revenue they will spend it on infrastructure, education, disaster relief, job creation measures, and research and development.
The pattern is unmistakable; repugicans are not prepared to manage finances or an economy whether it is at the state or federal level and the reason is always the same; they oppose any measure to bring in any sources of revenue. According to their economic approach to finance and budget, any revenue or surplus from cutting government rightfully belongs to the rich and corporations they claim will increase revenue and create an economic Utopia. Despite their over-thirty year experiment in economic malfeasance, and repugican state after repugican state suffering economic woes, they are Hell-bent on continuing what they claim is running government like a business that will eventually go bankrupt so they can sell it off to their wealthy donors at a discount and watch them promptly drown it in a bathtub.

The repugicans Faithfully Follow ALEC’s Refusal to Support Democracy

Over the past six years, at least, there has been a steady assault on democracy from state level repugicans with the insidious assistance from ALEC …
For many Americans that are not aligned with the wingnut delusion, it is likely they believe democracy is what used to make America exceptional. Although throughout the nation’s history all Americans were not allowed to participate in the democratic process, a herculean, and bloody, struggle did at one point appear to have expanded the right to vote to every citizen. It is highly likely that if they had the opportunity, repugicans in Congress would follow their brethren in repugican misled states and embrace the Koch brothers’ American Legislative Exchange Council’s drive to put the brakes on democracy by blocking the right to vote of any American who was not a white 'christian' wingnut.
Over the past six years, at least, there has been a steady assault on democracy from state level repugicans with theinsidious assistance from ALEC that led one to wonder whether the Koch brothers had directed the repugican legislative arm (ALEC) to disavow and destroy American democracy one state at a time. In December 2013, ALEC members refused to sign a pledge supporting democracy and coupled with their intense crusade to create legislation blocking minorities’ right to vote, it became crystal clear the wingnut delusion not only does not support democracy, they are actively working to bring it to an end and replace it with oligarchy.
It is indeed stunning, but repugicans are no longer couching their disdain for the democratic process with phony assertions there is overwhelming voter fraud, or the need for specific forms of identification, they just hate democracy. Last week it was reported that corrupt New Jersey Governor Chris Christie lashed out at states’ efforts to make it simpler for citizens to vote and called it “shocking” and “underhanded.” Christie is certainly not alone in hating the idea of the democratic process as evidenced by the wingnut Supreme Court issuing three decisions, Citizens United, McCutcheon, and gutting the Voting Rights Act to assist ALEC’s drive to abolish democracy.
Within weeks of the High Court eliminating the major provisions of the Voting Rights Act, repugican states went berserk passing ALEC-written legislation to block minority access to the polls. Duly disturbed by the overt assault on voting rights, groups in North Carolina and, more recently, Georgia have made efforts to register African American voters as well as provide a better chance they will be “allowed” by repugicans to vote. In Georgia, specifically, an effort by African American cults to help their members get to early voting locations has enraged repugicans to the point that one repugican, Fran Millar,  issued a solemn vow to shut them down.
Millar is livid about the “Souls To The Polls” effort by Black cults to bus their congregants who want to participate in the democratic process to nearby early voting locations according to a Georgia state law. Millar did not couch his belief African Americans have no legal right to vote and said, “Now we are to have Sunday voting at South DeKalb Mall. This location is dominated by African American shoppers and the Democratic Party thinks this is a wonderful idea – what a surprise. This is a blatantly partisan move.” Millar’s claim that helping all Americans regardless of color to participate in America’s democracy is a “blatant partisan move” echoes Chris Christie’s assertion to the letter and Millar is not about to allow Black Georgian’s to vote if he can possibly block the vote.
Millar says he is actively “investigating if there is any way to stop this action (Africa Americans voting) before the November election,” and if he fails in that assault on democracy, he promised to join forces with another anti-democracy repugican, Mike Jacobs, “to eliminate this election law in January.” Obviously, most of Georgia’s democracy-loving citizens were rightly outraged at Millar’s blatant crusade and openly-stated plan to block Black American citizens right to vote, but the anti-democracy repugican held his ground and defended his crusade to block the Black vote. He said, “I never claimed to be nonpartisan; I would prefer more educated voters than a greater increase in the number of voters.”  If there was ever a direct statement exposing repugicans’ true beliefs that African Americans are not educated enough, or deserve, to participate in American democracy, Millar uttered it without reservation; Black Americans, wherever they live should be enraged. In fact, all Americans should be outraged and they likely are unless they are repugicans and their teabagger cohort.
Congressional repugicans may not have the power to block minority citizens voting rights yet, but they have spent the past six years faithfully blocking Democrats, and likely some repugican legislators’ right to vote. If one goes to any search engine and types in “repugicans block vote,” they will find page after page of instances of repugicans in the House and Senate blocking votes on various legislation and amendments; the overwhelming majority of them to help the American people. In fact, in less than a year-and-a-half, repugicans religiously blocked votes on no less than 73 amendments in this session of Congress. Their efforts are not about defeating legislation by voting against efforts to help Americans; they are about blocking other legislators’ right to vote to help Americans according to their mandate as legislators because they hate the democratic process.
It is important to note that the repugican states actively thwarting minority voting are driven by the American Legislative Exchange Council’s template legislation promoting attacks on democracy. ALEC claim it is because there is out-of-control voter fraud, and yet in a long-term comprehensiveanalysis of  primary, general, special, and municipal elections since the 2000 general election, out of over a billion ballots case there were only 31 credible incidents of voter fraud.”  Lacking any credibility on their claim of voter fraud, it is glaringly apparent that ALEC and repugicans’ block the vote efforts are borne of a deep-seated hatred of democracy.  It is not the least bit shocking that when ALEC members were asked to sign a pledge “upholding the will of the people and support democracy,” none of the ALEC members signed the pledge. The repugicans may not have refused to sign a pledge upholding the people’s will and supporting democracy, but their actions in the states and Congress are proof enough that blocking the vote is their war on democracy, minorities, and America.

The Kochs and the John Birch Society: a Love Story

by Claire Conner
Most John Birch Society scoundrels are buried deep in the recesses of American history, known only to politics junkies, history wonks and me, a Birch kid.
There is one exception however, a Birch name that echoes across today's political landscape: Fred C. Koch, founding member and national council member.
Before Koch's sons--David and Charles--became synonymous with 2000s corporate power, Koch built a fortune from an oil drilling techniques he developed. When oil companies in the United States ignored him, Koch looked elsewhere.
In 1929, he landed a $5,000,000 contract for his company to build fifteen oil refineries in Russia, Joseph Stalin's Communist Russia
Koch supervised the refinery installations, traveling extensively across the country over three years. He claimed that his hatred for Communism grew out of his Russian experiences, but he had pocketed $500,000 (his part of the company's profits) before his outrage set in. That money, $8,000,000 in today's dollars made Fred Koch a very rich man.
Ironically, the wealth of the Koch family came from a brutal Communist dictatorship. Hardly the image of "free enterprise" the Kochs invoke so passionately.
In 1960, thirty years after he took Communist money and parleyed it into an even bigger fortune, Koch wrote his book, A Businessman Looks at Communism, in which he rails against labor unions and civil rights efforts as part of the Communist plot to take over America.
    "Labor Unions have long been a Communist goal," Koch wrote. "The effort is frequently made to have the worker do as little as possible for the money he receives. This practice alone can destroy our country." (p. 16)
My father, who served on the John Birch Society National Council with Fred Koch, had identical views on labor unions.
    "As long as there is breath in my body," Dad vowed, "there will never be a union in my company. I'll board it up first. Fred (Koch) sees it like I do, one hundred percent."
Koch had equally damning views of civil rights. "The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America," he said (p. 25) and "it will use the colored people by getting a vicious race war started."
Koch's views on civil rights were identical to those of the John Birch Society. Early in the civil rights movement, the Birch founder labeled Dr. Martin Luther King a Communist and marshaled the Birch leadership to fight every piece of civil rights legislation.
Fred Koch died in 1967, leaving his company and his vast fortune to his four sons: Freddie, Charles, David and Bill who spent the next twenty years battling over the estate.  Eventually, David and Charles emerged with control over Koch Industries, one of the largest privately-held corporations in the country. The sons acquired dozens of companies and diversified their fossil fuel assets into every commodity from silicon chips to toilet paper. Koch Industries continues to build its corporate wealth (and the Koch brothers' personal wealth) with government contracts and government tax breaks.
The Koch brothers have enormous personal fortunes, somewhere around $40 billion dollars each in net worth. They are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in their favorite causes, right-wing, libertarian, anti-government ones.
David identified himself as the wallet behind Americans for Prosperity, the big umbrella for Freedom Works and the Tea Party. Charles founded the Cato Institute, a powerful think-tank specializing in selling right-wing policies on everything from taxes to entitlements.
[Read the whole story HERE]

My fellow Americans, please stop being idiots

There's a poll out showing that Americans are scared:
The nation is on edge in the wake of brutal beheadings of journalists by Islamic extremists - with more Americans saying the United States is less safe now than at any point since 9/11, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll shows.
You know what that poll shows, Americans? It shows that the terrorists won. You are giving them everything they wanted. You are terrorized.
Look, I've said it before and I still believe every word. ISIS represents no threat to the United States. None.
Are there terrorists in this world who would like to give us a bloody nose? Absolutely. You know what? You've already surrendered an astounding amount of your personal privacy in the name of enabling agencies to reduce that threat. Stop being so eager to bend over and give the little that remains. You're already going through ridiculous rituals at airports and government offices and museums and bus stations and football stadiums and probably at the local Gymboree, all designed to give you the illusion of safety at an immense cost in both time and money. You've already given up everything from the privacy of your phone calls and emails to the ability to take some shampoo on the road. Don't get out the checkbook to buy more nonsense.
And hey, you've already left more Americans on the battlefield created by our shaking-in-our-boots cowardice than any terrorists might have hoped. You've already built a monument to our fear that's measured in a mound of bodies on both sides that would dwarf the Great Pyramid. Stop making our service people, and innocents on the ground, sacrifices to your ill-defined "they're out to get me"-itis.

The Truth Hurts


Synonyms For The 96 Most Commonly Used Words in English

As writers, every one of us on this site try to find words that are a step apart from the most over-used words you often see on the web. Problem is, we have these words programmed into our minds and tend to use them as reflex. Although a thesaurus is a good way to break that mold, thankfully, some websites do the hard work for us so we don't have to.
Just English assembled a list of synonyms for the 96 most commonly used words in English, and you don't have to be a writer to appreciate it. These words can even help you sound more fluid and less cliche' in conversations. We all use the word bad quite often, but have you ever called your Brussels sprouts "ghastly"? Well, now you can and impress all the fellow Brussels sprout haters around you as well.
The fact is, this language is a gift and we often scoff at it or misuse it. This list helps switch up your thinking when it comes to that.

The American Flag Appears in the Clouds

NBC 12 News of Richmond, Virginia posted this photo shot by viewers Nancy and Joannie at the Virginia Center Commons on Thursday, September 11. The stars and stripes appear to waft across the evening sky.
Too good to be true? The news station responds to allegations of photoshoppery by writing, "We know the photographer and they sent a series of photos. It's authentic." Other commenters show their own photos of the cloud flag from different angles.

Ask The Past

Ask the Past gathers advice from the past and applies it obligingly to the questions of the present. Edited by Elizabeth Archibald, who has a Ph.D. in History from Yale University. Her research focuses on medieval education and the history of the book. Some advice offered are: How to impress girls at a Dance - 1530, how to change a diaper - 1612, how to wash your hair - 12th century, how to compliment a lady - 1663.
Here's an example from The Distaff Gospels (Les Evangiles des Quenouilles), an Old French fifteenth-century collection of popular beliefs:
How to keep your cat, c. 1470. If you have a good cat and you don't want to lose it, you must rub its nose and four legs with butter for three days, and it will never leave the house.

Got Hiccups?

They come without warning, overstay their welcome, and drive us to distraction. Surprise house guests? Nope -- hiccups! We've all been tormented by them, but what causes them? Tara and Nick Uhas have some answers. 

Why We Love Football

The league is plagued with problems, from domestic abuse among its players to drug use, fear of brain injuries and more. So why do fans keep coming back?

Schizophrenia not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders

Schizophrenia not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders

New research shows that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease but […]



The Svanetian Towers Of Georgia

Svaneti is the highest area in the Caucasus mountain system where people have settled. In a land dominated by mountains divided by deep gorges, the Svan people settled this historic Georgian province almost two millennia ago and here they flourished.
Yet towards the end of the European Dark Ages, at around the end of the ninth century, the Svan found themselves in conflict with the northern Caucasian tribes on the other side of the mountains and with the Ossetians to the east. Their solution to tribal raids has endured the centuries.

The Painted Mosque And Arabati Baba Tekke In Tetovo

Tetovo is a city in the northwestern part of Macedonia. The city is known for the Šarena Džamija, more commonly known as the Painted Mosque, and the Arabati Baba Tekke, a dervish monastery.
Built in 1438 and reconstructed in 1833, the mosque is famous for its vibrant color scheme, with an exterior covered in rectangular designs like playing cards. The Arabati Baba Tekke was established in 1538 by Ali Baba, the brother-in-law of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

The Cotton Tree In Freetown

In the old part of Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone, at the center of a roundabout surrounded by a concrete fence stands an enormous Cotton Tree. The tree is Freetown's historic symbol and the city's most famous landmark.
Nobody is sure how old the tree is, but it is known to have existed in 1787 when the first settlers arrived. It is believed that when a group of former African-American slaves, who had gained their freedom by fighting for the British during the American War of Independence, landed in Freetown, they apparently rested and prayed underneath the shade of the tree.

Daily Comic Relief


Viking Architects

A new archaeological discovery in Denmark suggests that these notorious fighters were also decent builders.

Hunt for water may have led human evolution

Hunt for water may have led human evolution

Our ancient ancestors’ ability to move around and find new […]

In the beginning there were three elements

In the beginning there were three elements

In the beginning, or at least following the Big Bang […]

Mind Your Manners

Don't be that guy. Your freshly washed, waxed, and buffed palomino is pretty. The new rims sparkle like stars. You don't want it dinged when someone else climbs off his horse. Still: you get only one spot at the hitching post. One. That's it.

Climate and Civilization Kills

Animal bones and images of animals on ancient artifacts reveal what creatures once roamed the region.

Dinosaur News

Titanosaurian remains are found on every continent but history outside of South America is less well known. 

Paleontology News

Some sloth lineages grew more than 220 pounds every million years, one of the fastest body growth rates known in the evolution of mammals.

Elephant Spa

These adorably relaxed elephants are enjoying full spa services at Punnathoor Cotta Elephant Yard, located  in Guruvayuron, Kerala in southern India. The elephants are honored in an annual event each July, as they are central to a ritual temple procession that month. July is considered a month of rejuvenation for both animals and humans. The center shown here can pamper up to 59 elephants at once

Animal Pictures