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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.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Daily Drift

OK, we could do without the S'mores ...!
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Today in History

1580 Sir Francis Drake returns to Plymouth, England, aboard the Golden Hind, after a 33-month voyage to circumnavigate the globe.
1777 The British army launches a major offensive, capturing Philadelphia.
1786 France and Britain sign a trade agreement in London.
1820 The legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone dies quietly at the Defiance, Mo., home of his son Nathan, at age 85.
1826 The Persian cavalry is routed by the Russians at the Battle of Ganja in the Russian Caucasus.
1829 Scotland Yard, the official British criminal investigation organization, is formed.
1864 General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men assault a Federal garrison near Pulaski, Tennessee.
1901 Leon Czolgosz, who murdered President William McKinley, is sentenced to death..
1913 The first boat is raised in the locks of the Panama Canal.
1914 The Federal Trade Commission is established to foster competition by preventing monopolies in business.
1918 German Ace Ernst Udet shoots down two Allied planes, bringing his total for the war up to 62.
1937 Bessie Smith, known as the 'Empress of the Blues,' dies in a car crash in Mississippi.
1940 During the London Blitz, the underground Cabinet War Room suffers a hit when a bomb explodes on the Clive Steps.
1941 The U.S. Army establishes the Military Police Corps.
1950 General Douglas MacArthur's American X Corps, fresh from the Inchon landing, links up with the U.S. Eighth Army after its breakout from the Pusan Perimeter.
1955 The New York Stock Exchange suffers a $44 million loss.
1960 Vice President Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy participate in the first nationally televised debate between presidential candidates.
1961 Nineteen-year-old Bob Dylan makes his New York singing debut at Gerde's Folk City.
1967 Hanoi rejects a U.S. peace proposal.
1969 The Beatles last album, Abbey Road, is released.
1972 Richard M. Nixon meets with Emperor Hirohito in Anchorage, Alaska, the first-ever meeting of a U.S. President and a Japanese Monarch.
1977 Israel announces a cease-fire on Lebanese border.
1983 In the USSR Stanislav Petrov disobeys procedures and ignores electronic alarms indicating five incoming nuclear missiles, believing the US would launch more than five if it wanted to start a war. His decision prevented a retaliatory attack that would have begun a nuclear war between the superpowers..
1984 The UK agrees to transfer sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China.
1997 Two earthquakes strike Italy, causing part of the Basilica of St. Francis to collapse, killing four people and destroying much of the cycle of frescoes depicting the saint's life.
2008 Yves Rossy, a Swiss pilot and inventor, is the first person to fly a jet-powered wing across the English Channel.

The Creation Myth of Chocolate-Chip Cookies

75 years ago, it was not obvious that the cocoa morsels belonged.

America existed for more than 160 years before chocolate-chip cookies did.
There were cookies, yes—the first written recipe for an American cookie was published in 1796 in the book American Cookery and called for boiled sugar (to separate the scummy impurities) and powdered coriander. The machine that made Fig Newtons was invented in 1891. Fannie Farmer's 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book included a recipe for oatmeal-raisin cookies. By the first decade of the 20th century, brownies (which are, technically, a type of bar cookie) were being baked.

But no one had taken cookie dough and folded in chunks of chocolate. Any time chocolate went into cookies, it was melted first.
It was Ruth Wakefield who changed that. The proprietor of the Toll House restaurant in Whitman, Mass., Wakefield was good at desserts. As Carolyn Wyman writes in The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book, the Toll House restaurant had a menu just for desserts, and those desserts had a celebrity following. (Joseph Kennedy, Sr., Wyman writes, would order Toll House brownies for his kids. Duncan Hines liked the lemon meringue pie.)
In 1938, Ruth Wakefield added pieces of a chopped up Nestle bar to cookies she planned on serving with ice cream. Food editors picked up on the idea, and the recipe started circulating through the press and gaining huge popularity. In 1939, Wakefield gave Nestle permission to print her recipe on the back of its chocolate bars. And from then on America had chocolate-chip cookies.
What's less certain is why, exactly, Wakefield put the chopped-up chocolate into her cookies to begin with. A few versions of the story have her creating the recipe accidentally—she was out of nuts, she thought the chocolate would melt into the batter, the chips fell into the bowl by accident. Wyman, in her book, argues that Wakefield was too much of a perfectionist to have come upon the recipe so haphazardly. In support of her argument, she cites a few accounts from the 1970s in which Wakefield tells reporters that she'd been planning experiments with chocolate chunks.
Any account of the cookie's creation, though, has a hint of myth-making to it: No one was documenting the cookie's creation at the time. Who could have known that it would be such an innovation?
Like many great inventions, though, the chocolate cookie has been iterated and improved upon in the years since its creation—so much so that the chocolate-chip cookie eaters of today would hardly recognize Wakefield's chocolate chip cookies as such. As Dédé Wilson writes in the Boston Globe:
[T]he treats that Wakefield first made at the inn, which she and her husband, Kenneth, owned, were so tiny, that a single cookie — the size of a quarter — was not quite a bite…. the tinier versions turn out quite crunchy… they have a crisp texture with a buttery, caramelized, butterscotch-like flavor. The chocolate is generous but not overwhelming and nuts add both texture and flavor.
If you want to taste what Wakefield did, here's the recipe. It may not be a chocolate chip cookie in its most modern and highest form, but it still sounds pretty tasty.

Researchers Use Twitter to Analyze Each State’s Most-Talked about Food

It’s not necessarily the most popular food, but it’s the food that more people in that state are tweeting about than any other.
The Twitter4Food research team at the University of Arizona published an online paper and a set of interactive data visualizations to share the results of their study of 3.5 million tweets published between October 2013 and May 2014.

You can search the United States to see who has an interest in particular foods, such as sheep brains (a traditional Southern delicacy).
You can also create heat maps for the entire world to see what regions are tweeting about foods, such as this map showing tweets about Scotch eggs.

China and Tibet

The Dalai Lama recently implied he'd be the last to hold the position, because the Dalia Lama would not be reborn in China until Tibet was free of the larger country's rule. How did long-running tensions between Tibet and China begin? 

Warring Presidents

With President Obama recently authorizing military action against ISIS, legal scholars are revisiting the question of who can declare war and who can't.

Why Historical Midterm Voting Patterns Could Mean A November Upset

Midterms tend to be viewed, both individually and in the eyes of media pundits, as a referendum on the sitting President.
We’ve heard the reasons that Democrats are supposed to be doomed this November. President Obama’s approval ratings are at an all-time low and candidates from his party have opted to run away from the POTUS’ record. Pro-repugican district gerrymandering has made few House races competitive. And of course, liberals tend to avoid the polls during midterms – to their own detriment.
This latter pattern led the President to observe of his base earlier this year, “We know how to win national elections…But all too often it’s during these midterms where we end up getting ourselves into trouble, because I guess we don’t think it’s sexy enough.” Aspirational attractiveness aside, every election is critically important and the most obvious solution is for Democrats to swarm the polls less than two months from now.
Midterms tend to be viewed, both individually and in the eyes of media pundits, as a referendum on the sitting President. But other writers and thinkers offer a deeper psychological assessment of these elections. Earlier this week in a piece entitled, “Obama Isn’t Finished Yet,” New York Times Op-Ed Contributor James Mann, writes:
“We might call this a kind of collective projection. We claim that a president is tired or looks tired, when what we really mean is that we are tired of him…By his sixth year in office, any president is ridiculously overexposed. We’ve seen him and heard him far too many times.
During his early years, a president naturally enjoys the hopes of his supporters; they suppress any disappointments they feel in the interests of winning the White House again. While in a second term, even his strongest supporters feel freer to express their disenchantment.”
As someone who has struggled with a practical Obama who has at times failed to live up to the “hope and change” hype of 2008 (and realistically, how could he not?), this argument makes a huge amount of sense. And if liberals are able to recognize and call out Presidential fatigue, we should also be able to mobilize against our self-defeating tendency to let it swallow all other compelling interests during the midterms. After all there’s nothing “sexier” in my own leftist circles than circumventing expected convention.
But I would also offer that there’s another reason why Democratic prospects in November might be rosier they appear. And that reason is the inept messaging and strategy of the repugican cabal, which has followed the same losing general election primer since 2008 (2010 midterm success aside):
  1. Pander to the base during primary season, with a series of ideological purity tests that purge anyone remotely palatable to a demographic cross-section.
  2. Once a nomination has been secured, try to move the candidate back to the center, even if they’ve spent months being “severely wingnut” (I’m looking at you Romney).
  3. Blame the media for this hoax failing to fool anybody.
  4. Repeat.
Midterms elections can be a sigh of relief for repugican cabal strategists forced to march up and off the usual cliff. With no Presidential contest to engage, this defeatist plan of action is executed on micro levels (Senate elections being the largest field) where ideological hegemony affords it a greater rate of success.
But this one could be different. The middle class knows it’s getting a raw deal. We know that corporations are experiencing nearly all the economic gains while Congress sits on its hands. Actually, it would be better if House leadership were just plain old inactive. Instead, we get John Boehner characterized by Reuters as expressing “his dissatisfaction with a chronically high jobless rate and complained of a ‘very sick idea’ that the unemployed would ‘rather just sit around.’
Women are tired of pay inequity (especially given their status as the breadwinners in 40 percent of American households), the culturally accepted misogyny and the consistent invasions into our reproductive decisions. I know that when the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that Hobby’s Lobby’s corporate religious objections to certain forms of contraception trumped a woman’s individual right to access them, it was a turning point for many of us.
And if they’re any remaining immigrant groups who fail to understand the repugican cabal’s open hostility to anything that looks like humanity (let alone progress), I’d be quite amazed.
A variety of media outlets already bespeak a lack of Democratic gain in the House as a foregone conclusion, with chances of retaining a Senate majority only slightly less remote. But that prediction discounts the most important variable: us. Eric Cantor anyone? Let’s give the heads something to talk about.

In wingnut fantasyland media, Obamacare is a disaster ...

In the real world however, it’s working and working quite well.
by Ezra Klein

Before Obamacare launched, wingnut outlets warned that the law would collapse as insurers shunned the overpriced, over-regulated insurance exchanges. "More Insurers Drop Out Of Exchanges," warned Faux Business. "Three Major Insurers Flee California's Obamacare Exchange," said HotAir.com. "The President's health care law has almost completely failed to increase insurance market competition," wrote the Heritage Foundation.
It continued after the law's launch. I remember, a month or two after HealthCare.gov opened (and crashed), being on a panel with a conservative writer who said that Obamacare might well enter a death spiral as insurers pull out of the marketplaces.
On Tuesday, the idea that insurers would flee Obamacare joined the long procession of Obamacare disasters that simply didn't happen. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell announced that in the 44 states where numbers were available, the number of companies offering plans in 2015 would increase by 25 percent. So, far from fleeing the exchanges, insurers are rushing into them. Competition is increasing.
HHS key findings
This news is not, as I write this on Tuesday evening, being carried on the home pages of Fox Business, HotAir.com, or the Heritage Foundation. (In case you're wondering, the most recent Obamacare article on FauxBusiness.com is "Obamacare website still not secure?"; on Hot Air.com, it's "How many people are poised to lose 2014 Obamacare coverage?"; at Heritage, it's "Why you can't keep your plan under Obamacare, explained in 3 minutes.") This is the problem in the debate about Obamacare. The two sides live in different informational universes. A few days ago, the New Republic's Danny Vinik tweeted a picture of the headlines he was receiving from the wingnut YG Network:
YG Obamacare
That top headline, "More bad news for Obamacare exchange customers," quotes a New York Times report that "in many places premiums are going up by double-digit percentages within many of the most popular plans." It omits the next two sentences: "But other plans, hoping to attract customers, are increasing their prices substantially less. In some markets, plans are even cutting prices." (The point of the piece is that to get the best price you need to shop around.)
Articles don't need to play tricks to paint a grim picture for Obamacare
It's easy to give people a skewed impression of Obamacare without ever running a false story. The Affordable Care Act is a huge law, and at any given moment, there are some good things happening in it and some bad things happening in it. If you run multiple articles every day on the problems and nothing on the broader trends, it's easy to mislead your audience.
Recently, one of the major insurers pulled out of the Minnesota exchange. The news received huge play in the wingnut media. The story is real — and it's bad news for Minnesotans. It's just not representative of the overall trend towards increased exchange participation. But a lot of wingnut readers don't know that. The Daily Caller, for instance, hit the Minnesota story hard. But on Tuesday, they managed to 'report' on Burwell's remarks without even mentioning the new data she presented on rising insurer participation.
If all you're seeing is an endless procession of stories that seem to show Obamacare is a disaster, you're going to think Obamacare is a disaster
My hunch is that relatively few wingnuts realize that premiums are lower-than-expected, and that the law's costs are lower-than-expected ($104 billion lower, as of April 2014). (Of course, information loops can go the other way, too: a lot of liberals probably don't know that of the much-discussed 8 million enrollees in Obamacare's insurance exchanges, new data suggests only about 7.3 million stuck around as paying members.)
In wonkier repugican circles, the spin has gotten subtler. They know that premiums are lower than projected and insurers are joining the exchanges. So the argument has developed a good-news-is-bad-news quality.
The fear about government programs in general, and government health-insurance programs in particular, is that they are overly generous because they spend other people's money. So repugicans have, for a long time, been putting forward health-care plans that would devolve single-payer insurance programs like Medicare to private insurers that would hold down costs by narrowing networks and managing care. Then, they figure, Americans can shop around, and the market will reward the plans that hold down costs and punish the plans that don't. These ideas were present in the health reforms Mitt Romney passed in Massachusetts, and Obamacare borrowed heavily from them.
Paul Ryan has also been a key sponsor of these ideas. But now that they're happening in Obamacare, he's selling it to wingnuts like some kind of catastrophe. "I don't think this is the kind of country that is going to stand for being told who and where they're going to get their health care," he told the Washington Examiner's Phil Klein. As Jonathan Chait writes:
Except that very dynamic is exactly the way Ryan's own fabled Medicare plan is designed to work - by having insurance companies lure customers by competing to hold down prices, in part by excluding doctors and hospitals that charge too much. Only now, rather than hold up this scheme of exchanges with private insurers as the silver bullet to solve America's problems, Ryan is exploiting discontent with it. He is implicitly promising that people will be able to go to whichever doctor or hospital they want, regardless of price. Of course he won't say how he'll pay for that luxury, either.
Obamacare's competitive insurance marketplaces are actually doing what they promised to do: forcing insurers to compete for customers by cutting costs. The Congressional Budget Office explains that Obamacare's premiums are cheaper-than-expected because its insurance features "lower payment rates for providers, narrower networks of providers, and tighter management of their subscribers' use of health care than employment-based plans do."
That is an extraordinary sentence: Obamacare is forcing insurers to run leaner than employers are. If Obamacare were Romneycare does anyone doubt Ryan — and repugicans more broadly — would be celebrating?
If Obamacare were Romneycare does anyone doubt Ryan would be celebrating?
Obamacare isn't by any means a perfect law and not everything in it is going right. The law powers a different insurance market in every state (plus the District of Columbia), so it is perfectly possible for Obamacare to be a success in California even as there are troubles in Minnesota. And there continue to be operational issues: there have been troubling revelations about web site security, and problems verifying the incomes of some enrollees.
On the whole, though, costs are lower than expected, enrollment is higher than expected, the number of insurers participating in the exchanges is increasing, and more states are joining the Medicaid expansion. Millions of people have insurance who didn't have it before. The law is working. But a lot of the people who are convinced Obamacare is a disaster will never know that, because the voices they trust will never tell them.

75-year-old man arrested after attempting to blow up his son with 3.5kg of dynamite

A German pensioner is being investigated on suspicion of attempted murder after planting 3.5kg (7.7lbs) of TNT in his son's garden, next door to his own home, police said on Monday. Police in Nußdorf in southern Bavaria were called to a house in the town's Sondermoning neighborhood late on Friday after a 32-year-old man found the explosives in his garden. The charge was defused and suspicion immediately fell on his neighbor - his father. The suspected bomber was arrested without resistance as he returned home at around 11pm the same evening.
The district court in nearby Traunstein issued a warrant for his arrest on grounds of attempted murder, attempting to cause an explosion and breach of the law on explosives. Neighbors, who had been evacuated from their homes while the explosive was defused, were able to return just before midnight.
Police said that the father had been arrested but could not reveal his motives. In a statement, they said that their search of the area had revealed new evidence which would be used in the prosecution. An expert testimony is being prepared which will detail why the explosive did not detonate and what damage might have resulted if it had.

Man threw chair at his grandmother after being told off for wearing dirty shoes

A Florida man who didn’t like his grandmother telling him to take off his shoes hit the woman with a kitchen chair, Volusia County deputies said.
And when investigating deputies asked Justin Penner’s father, Mark Penner, what happened during the incident Thursday about 2:20pm, the dad said, “All he did was hit her with the chair,” deputies wrote in their report. The victim is Mark Penner’s mother.
Penner, 29, was charged with aggravated battery on a person 65 year of age or older. Penner is being held with no bail allowed in the Volusia County Branch Jail. Jean Penner, 77, flagged down deputies and reported she had been battered in her Deltona home. Jean Penner said she lives in constant fear of her grandson who lives with her, investigators said.
The elderly woman reported she told Justin Penner not to walk in the residence with his shoes on because he was tracking in dirt. Justin Penner got upset and threw a kitchen chair at her, striking her in the left leg, deputies said. After hurting his grandmother, Justin Penner left the home with his father but was arrested when he returned home, deputies said.

Drug dealer arrested while wearing dope shirt

A suspect in a drug arrest in Florida was wearing an appropriate shirt when he was arrested on Sunday: The name "DOPE" on the back and the number "0." At about 4am, Sarasota officers stopped a vehicle after seeing two suspects run a stop sign.
The vehicle proceeded north, then drove through a dead end and crashed into a tree. The two men inside the car tried to flee on foot but were caught and identified as Tyderien Jenkins, the driver, and Thomas McDuffie, the passenger, police said.
Marijuana could be smelled coming from the vehicle and officers found powder cocaine (2.4 grams), crack cocaine (21.1 grams), heroin (3 grams) along with MDMA and $,1715 in cash.
McDuffie, 29, of Orlando, is charged with driving with a suspended licence, habitual traffic offender, possession of crack of cocaine with intent to sell,possession of powder cocaine with intent to sell, possession of heroin with intent to sell, leaving the scene of a crash, and obstruction without violence. Jenkins, 21, of Parrish, is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and obstruction without violence. It is unclear which man was wearing the 'dope' shirt.

Man arrested for offensive littering after throwing money out of car window

An Oregon man faces a charge of offensive littering, among others, after being arrested following a police chase in Cornelius on Saturday morning.
Kyler Martin from Beaverton allegedly sped away after his Cadillac was pulled over on traffic violations at around 3 am. A deputy who pulled the car over did not pursue, but radioed the information to other deputies. A second deputy spotted the Cadillac and tried to pull him over, but Martin allegedly refused to stop.
While the pursuit was underway, the deputy saw items being thrown out the window. Eventually, the Cadillac stopped. Martin, 26, was arrested at the scene. When deputies went back to pick up what was thrown out of the Cadillac’s window, they found paper money.
About five ounces of marijuana was found in the car, deputies said. Along with the offensive littering charge, Martin is charged with attempting to elude police, reckless driving and recklessly endangering another person – a passenger. Other charges may be forthcoming.

Classic Combos

Girls and Cars

The World’s Deepest Pool

The Y-40 in Italy is 40 meters (131 feet) deep.

Random Facts About The Human Body That Will Astonish You

#2 The focusing muscles in your eyes move around 100,000 times per day. You'd need to walk 50 miles to give your legs the same workout.

Less Satisfaction

buffetLower Buffet Prices Lead to Less Taste Satisfaction

Does the price you pay at a buffet influence how ...

A Comprehensive Look At The Ebola Virus

2014 has seen the worst outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in history, with the World Health Organization reporting more than 1,700 cases worldwide (as of August this year). In this infographic from BuddyLoans we take an in-depth look at the Ebola virus and its history, origin, genus, transmission, symptoms, fatality rate, and treatment.
All information is correct as of mid-August 2014. Data sources include the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, Doctors Without Borders, the BBC, The Guardian, and other high profile news outlets.

Solar Explosions

image.imageformat.fullwidth.700647174Solar explosions inside a computer

Strong solar flares can bring down communications and power grids ...

Harmful 'Fracking'

A new look at what's in 'fracking' fluids raises red flags‘Fracking’ wastewater that is treated for drinking produces potentially harmful compounds

Concerns that fluids from hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” are contaminating ...

'Nazca Lines' Found in Kazakhstan

Geoglyphs with various shapes and sizes, including a massive swastika, have been discovered across the northern part of the country.

Ruined Cities That Remain A Mystery To This Day

The world is full of ruined cities, but some have such mysterious rises and falls that they haunt our imaginations. Even if we know who built them, certain aspects of the city may simply defy comprehension in the modern age. Here are 8 ancient cities that we may never fully understand.

Glass Beach

Nature Corrects Another Of Our Mistakes
No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that a rubbish dump being created would, in the space of a century, become a protected area. Yet that is exactly what happened to what has come to be known as Glass Beach, just outside Fort Bragg in California.
Glass Beach is abundant in sea glass created from years of dumping garbage into an area of coastline near the northern part of the town. The beach is now frequently visited by tourists. Collecting is not permitted on the beach, although sea glass can be found on other local beaches outside the park boundary.

Water discovered on Neptune-sized planet outside our solar system

Being able to find water may make it easier to find life
by Elizabeth Lopatto
Scientists found water vapor on a Neptune-sized planet 124 light years away from Earth, the first time an exoplanet smaller than Jupiter has been found with water. Their results are published in the journal Nature.
Life as we understand it requires liquid water
Astronomers figure out what elements compose an exoplanet by studying how light from the planet's star is absorbed as the planet passes in front of it. Until now, Neptune-sized and smaller planets hadn't been possible to study, probably because of heavy cloud cover. When HAT-P-11b passed in front of its host star, in the constellation Cygnus, it showed clearly the planet had water vapor.
This bodes well for the search for life elsewhere in the galaxy. Life as we understand it requires liquid water, carbon-based molecules, and an energy source; in the case of humans, that energy source is the sun. We know life can survive on an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone: we're proof. Now, if we can detect water vapor on similar planets, we may have a better bead on where to look for other kinds of life.
Of course, a Neptune-sized planet is still about four times larger than Earth. But this discovery, made using instrumentation on the Hubble Space Telescope, bodes well for Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, which is due to be launched in 2018. The JWST will carry sensitive instruments and also have a much larger mirror than the Hubble, which means it will be able to detect signals that are currently too faint to analyze.

Retro Photos

Retro Pink

Brazilian Man Spots Giant Anaconda, Grabs It By the Tail

In a video that proves, among other things, that terror can be universally understood by all, no matter what language in which it's expressed, this group of Brazilians in a small boat spot a massive anaconda. As the woman on the boat proceeds to loudly voice her discomfort with the situation, a man on board pursues the yellow anaconda and grabs it by the tail, presumably so it can be better seen on the video they are shooting. (At 1:54 the woman tells him he's sick in the head.)

Mysterious cloud on radar is only butterflies

Massive formation moving erratically across Midwest appears on weather radar; scientists determine it's a flutter of perhaps millions of Monarch butterflies
Cloud-like formation on NWS weather radar turns out to be migrating butterflies
Folks at the National Weather Service were mystified recently when a bizarre cloud formation appeared on the radar over southern Illinois and central Missouri.
The cloud-like object was moving erratically across the landscape, and changing shapes along the way.
It didn’t take long to realize, however, that this wasn’t a cloud at all.
Monarch butterflies are known for their long, mass migrations
Reads a statement on the U.S. National Weather Service Saint Louis Missouri Facebook page: “High differential reflectively values as well as low correlation coefficient values indicate these are most likely biological targets.”
Translation: They were critters of some sort.
Finally, it was determined that this large, mysterious cloud could be only one thing: Monarch butterflies on their southbound migration.
Massive flutter of migrating butterflies is shaped somewhat like a butterfly
The flock, or flutter, was so immense that it was detected by weather instruments.
The Facebook post concludes:
“A Monarch in flight would look oblate to the radar, and flapping wings would account for the changing shape!
“NWS St. Louis wishes good luck and a safe journey to these amazing little creatures on their long journey south!”
The images themselves almost look butterfly-shaped.
Monarch butterflies are famous for the brilliant coloration and long migrations, which in some cases can span 3,000 miles and involve millions of butterflies.
The insects embark on these marathon southbound adventures in early fall in order to reach their southern destinations before the onset of deadly winter weather.
Unfortunately, Monarch butterflies are in steep decline in many areas, largely because of habitat loss.
Earlier this summer, a massive swarm of mayflies over Wisconsin appeared as rain on weather radar.

The Struggle of Chimps

Early contact with humans can result in behavioral and social problems that last a lifetime.

Fruity Life

Mysterious animals whose remains resemble dried up pomegranates lived 370 million years before the world's first dinosaurs emerged. 

Fishy Antifreeze

Antifreeze proteins in Antarctic fish prevent both freezing and melting

Antarctic fish that manufacture their own “antifreeze” proteins to survive ...

Animal Pictures