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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, October 18, 2014

The Daily Drift

By all means vote - it pisses off wingnuts when you do and that's a good thing ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
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Today in History

1648 The "shoemakers of Boston"–the first labor organization in what would become the United States–was authorized by the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1685 Edict of Nantes lifted by Louis XIV. The edict, signed at Nantes, France, by King Henry IV in 1598, gave the Huguenots religious liberty, civil rights and security. By revoking the Edict of Nantes, Louis XIV abrogated their religious liberties.
1813 The Allies defeat Napoleon Bonaparte at Leipzig.
1867 The Alaska territory is formally transferred to the U.S. from Russian control.
1867 The rules for American football are formulated at meeting in New York among delegates from Columbia, Rutgers, Princeton and Yale universities.
1883 The weather station at the top of Ben Nevis, Scotland, the highest mountain in Britain, is declared open. Weather stations were set up on the tops of mountains all over Europe and the Eastern United States in order to gather information for the new weather forecasts.
1910 M. Baudry is the first to fly a dirigible across the English Channel–from La Motte-Breil to Wormwood Scrubbs.
1912 The First Balkan War breaks out between the members of the Balkan League–Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro–and the Ottoman Empire.
1918 Czechs seize Prague and renounce Hapsburg's rule.
1919 Madrid opens a subway system.
1921 Russian Soviets grant Crimean independence.
1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt bans war submarines from U.S. ports and waters.
1944 Lt. General Joseph Stilwell is recalled from China by president Franklin Roosevelt.
1950 The First Turkish Brigade arrives in Korea to assist the U.N. forces fighting there.
1967 A Russian unmanned spacecraft makes the first landing on the surface of Venus.
1968 US athletes Tommi Smith and John Carlos suspended by US Olympic Committee for giving "black power" salute while receiving their medals at the Olympic Games in Mexico City.
2003 Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada resigns in the wake of protests centered around Bolivia's natural gas resources.
2007 Suicide attack on a motorcade in Karachi, Pakistan, kills at least 139 and wounds 450; the subject of the attack, Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, is not harmed.

You Can’t Be Both a repugican and a Patriot

by Allen Clifton
I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that someone simply cannot be both a repugican and a patriot. It’s impossible. Sure, repugicans think they’re the real “patriots,” but they’re really not.
Not even close.
Now, are there people who vote repugican who are genuinely good Americans? Of course. But I’m not sure I’d call those people “real repugicans.” What do wingnuts call them? Oh, that’s right, R.I.N.O’s (repugican In Name Only).
Seriously, how can repugicans (especially teabagger repugicans) consider themselves patriots?
They have a general disdain for every liberal in the country. Meaning that they genuinely loathe over half of their fellow Americans. They don’t trust our government – at all. You know, the very same government that was setup and established by our Constitution. The same Constitution they claim to worship and love.
In fact, they hate our government so much that they believe our Second Amendment gives them the right to bear arms just incase they need to overthrow our government.
But it’s not just their general hatred of our government. Many wingnuts want to secede from the United States. I live in Texas; just about every day I’m out running errands I run across a vehicle with a big “SECEDE” decal proudly displayed on it. But it’s not just Texas. These “secede movements” are very popular among many lunatic fringe wingnut cabals.
I’ve still never understood how someone can be an America-loving patriot – while wanting to secede from the United States.
What is it exactly that makes repugicans patriots?
Many repugicans hate our government, loathe over half of all Americans, quite a few want to secede from the United States and they have a general disdain toward minorities, the poor, women, non-christians, homosexuals and just about anyone and everyone who isn’t a straight, white christian male.
So, can someone tell me where I can find this repugican “patriotism”? Or what is it that actually quantifies their claim to be “patriotic”? Because I don’t see it.
Sure, I see a cabal that loves guns and hates our government – but neither of those really has anything to do with being patriotic. Many psychopaths love guns and islamic terrorists hate our government. Does that make them patriots too? Something has to be quantified upon which to build a basis for patriotism. And I’m simply not seeing much of anything from the repugican cabal.
They claim they love our “freedom,” yet are constantly trying to restrict the rights of women, homosexuals and people who don’t follow their particular brand of christianity. Besides, you can’t claim this nation was built on religious principles while championing “freedom.” Because religion isn’t “freedom,” it’s control.
Sure, they claim to “support our troops.” But last time I checked, our last repugican pretender sent nearly 4,500 of our brave men and women in uniform off to die in a war based on a lie. So, I’m not exactly sure how using our military as political pawns is patriotic.
In my opinion, repugican “patriotism” is built on an illusion of what they wished this nation was, but has never been. It’s all hype and propaganda driven by their warped belief of the values on which they think this nation was built, and the lies told to them by the wingnut media.
Because at the end of the day, I’m not sure how you can call yourself a “patriot” if you clearly seem to hate almost everything this nation stands for and supports.

Hotest September Ever

September 2014 was the hottest September since instrumental records began being taken in 1880.

113-Year Old Woman Fakes Her Age to Get on Facebook

It's been a while since Anna Stoehr, 113, of Plainview, Minnesota has been carded. Just shy of 114, she decided to sign up for Facebook. That's when she ran into problems.
You have to be at least 13 to be on Facebook. But the maximum age Facebook accepts is 99. So Ms. Stroehr lied about her age and claimed to be 14 years younger than she really is in order to sign up. A Verizon salesman helped her get set up:
Joseph Ramireza was selling an iPhone to Stoehr's 85-year-old son, who started talking about his mother. Ramireza said he had to meet her.
"She's become something of a kindred spirit," Ramireza said.
He's helped her use FaceTime to video chat with friends on an iPad and has been teaching her to use email and Google search.

Ten Grammar "Mistakes" People Love to Correct (That Aren't Actually Wrong)

If you're one of those people who goes around correcting the grammar, spelling and word usage of others, take heed: you may want to double-check those "hard and fast" rules. Author Lauren Davis wrote an article for i09 in which she discusses ten often corrected "mistakes" that are subjective at worst. Let's take ending a sentence with a preposition, for example. Davis has this to say about that grammatical situation,
"There's a cheeky sentence on the matter that is frequently (and apocryphally) attributed to Winston Churchill: "This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put." Soanes offers four examples of when it is perfectly alright (and perhaps even preferable) to end one's sentence with a preposition:

-passive structures (she enjoys being fussed over)
-relative clauses (they must be convinced of the commitment that they are taking on)
-infinitive structures (Tom had no-one to play with)
-questions beginning with who, where, what, etc. (what music are you interested in?)

Fogarty adds that the one case in which you want to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition, at least in formal writing, is when the meaning of the sentence doesn't change when you drop the preposition, e.g. "Where are you going?" instead of "Where are you going to?" But in informal spoken English, you will see such phrases, especially in certain dialects."
Here you have it: an apocryphal graphic quotation at top and some schooling underneath.  Read the rest of Davis' article here.

A Linguist's History Of The Foods You Love

You probably think you know where fish and chips comes from. Britain, right? It's pretty much the national dish. Fried fish. Fried potatoes. Vinegar sauce. Pip pip, cheerio, and all that. Well, you're wrong.
Dan Jurafsky, author of the fascinating new book 'The Language of Food', explains where fish and chips comes from, the origins of ketchup and why we toast.

Will John Lennon’s "Paperback Writer" Guitar Be a Million-Dollar Seller?

Any artifact connected with the Beatles has a market. What prices those artifacts command depends on their intrinsic value, rarity, and provenance. A guitar up for auction in November has plenty of all three, which may drives the price up as high as a million dollars! John Lennon used a 1963 Gretsch model 6120 Chet Atkins Nashville hollow-body guitar in the mid-‘60s, and gave it to his young cousin David Birch in 1967. Birch has been in possession of the guitar ever since, so there’s no question as to its provenance.
Birch watched his cousin’s rise from both up close and afar, visiting Lennon’s home, Kenwood, in Weybridge, just southwest of London, on several occasions. By the time the 19-year-old Birch went to stay with Lennon for a couple of days in November of 1967, he, too, was living with Mimi, as Lennon had done before him. Thus the two men were linked by shared experiences, as well as blood.

On that November visit, while hanging out in Lennon’s music room, where Lennon wrote such compositions as “We Can Work It Out,” “I Am The Walrus,” “A Day In The Life,” and “Across The Universe,” Birch mentioned that he was trying to start a band. “I was just cheeky enough to ask John for one of his spare guitars,” Birch recalls. “I had my eye on a blue Fender Stratocaster that was lying in the studio, but John suggested and gave me the Gretsch while we were talking.” Over the years, the guitar got enough use by Birch that it underwent a few minor repairs, but the handsome instrument, whose laminated-maple body, headstock, and neck retains its original orange-stain finish, is mostly as it was when it changed hands that day in Lennon’s Kenwood music room.
Although we don’t know exactly how many songs Lennon wrote using the guitar, a witness documented it being used to compose “Paperback Writer.” When the Gretsch goes up for auction on November 14th, the bidding will start at £400,000 ($638,048). Read the story of this particular guitar at Collectors Weekly. 

When Coonskin Caps Were Cool

Coonskin caps were used by Native Americans and pioneers to keep heads warm for hundreds of years, but the fashion faded out in the 20th century. The big exception was in the 1950s, when the furry caps were all the rage. If you can immediately say why, then you are likely older than most of the internet generation.
At the time, Walt Disney was trying to find a way to finance the construction of Disneyland, his grand theme park. In 1954, eager to raise funds, he signed a deal for a television series with ABC, and launched a serial titled “Davy Crockett,” chronicling the life and times of the famous frontiersman who’d died at the Battle of the Alamo. “It’s time to get acquainted, or renew acquaintance with, the robust, cheerful, energetic and representative folk heroes," Disney said in a press statement. “Who better than Davy?”

Airing in five one-hour installments from December 1954 to December 1955, the show was insanely popular: Nearly 12 million viewers tuned in to each episode, a full-length, color feature (Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier) was released, and the show’s theme song -- “Ballad of Davy Crockett” -- rose to become a #1 Billboard hit:
Because Crockett wore a coonskin cap in the show, the coonskin craze took the nation by storm. It was led by children, but plenty of adults bought the caps, too, until a shortage of raccoons led to substitute furs. Read about the history of the coonskin cap, from native tribesmen to today, ay Pricenomics. 

5 Conspiracy Theories That Are So Dumb They're Brilliant

Conspiracy theories can be very strange rabbit holes to wander down. While some theories may have some elements of truth to them, most of them are just that: theories. Ideas by single minds that somehow get perpetuated to the masses and in that, those theories end up reaching larger audiences who no longer seem to have the grasp that these are simply "theories."
Got to give some credit to Cracked, though. For years, the site has called out some of the more well-known conspiracy theories and shown them for just how silly or asinine they are. Seems they are at it again with 5 Conspiracy Theories That Are So Dumb They're Brilliant. It is sometimes important to find humor in just how absurd some of these theories are. Just the fact that someone thinks the ALS ice bucket challenge is actually a satanic baptism ritual is just too hilarious to NOT be shared with the masses.
Ironic plot twist: am I perpetuating such conspiracies by writing about them and bringing more attention to them? I sure hope so, as some of these are hilarious.

At The Office

From a woman's perspective

The Abduction of Persephone

A mural on the floor of a mysterious tomb in Greece reveals the character of Persephone, the daughter of Zeuis and Demeter in Greek mythology.

Scans of the Pazyryk tattooed Ukok ‘princess’ tell a sad story

The Ukok Plateau. Image: Kobsev CC-BY-2.5; Released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Studies of the mummified Ukok ‘princess’ – named after the permafrost plateau in the Altai Mountains where her remains were found – have already brought extraordinary advances in our understanding of the rich and ingenious Pazyryk culture.
Now Siberian scientists have discerned more about the likely circumstances of her demise, but also of her life, use of cannabis, and why she was regarded as a woman of singular importance to her mountain people.
Her use of drugs to cope with the symptoms of her illnesses evidently gave her ‘an altered state of mind’, leading her kinsmen to the belief that she could communicate with the spirits, the experts believe.
The MRI, conducted in Novosibirsk by eminent academics Andrey Letyagin and Andrey Savelov, showed  that the ‘princess’ suffered from osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone or bone marrow, from childhood or adolescence.
Close to the end of her life, she was afflicted, too, by injuries consistent with a fall from a horse: but the experts also discovered something far more significant. Read full report in the Siberian Times

Largest Pottery Workshop

The largest kiln is 17 feet in diameter, making it the biggest kiln ever found in a Greek city.

A Russian Sundail

A strange chunk of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age. 

Five Amazing Fossil Finds That Will Make You Want To Be A Fossil Hunter

What do you want to be when you grow up? Would you want to explore the world searching for long lost creatures of our past? That's exactly what many of the paleontologists and expert fossil hunters do at the Smithsonian. Check out these five amazing finds.

The Truth Be Told

Could be ...

We've Got A Fracking Problem

The natural gas boom, even though it burns cleaner, will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the long-term, a big new study reports.
Some 400 micro-earthquakes near the town of Canton, Ohio, are connected to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, wells.

Bursting At The Seams

With several faults slicing through the San Francisco Bay Area, forecasting the next deadly earthquake becomes a question of when and where, not if.

A Deep Sea Mystery

The oceans are warming, no wait they’re not … what’s the story?

Random Photos

Is she or isn't she?

Real Zombies

Mind Controlling Parasites of Nature
Scientific research can read like a horror story when the subject is parasites. There are numerous parasite species that not only feed on their victims, but actually start to control their victim’s behavior for their own ends. In effect, the parasite is exerting mind control to turn the victim into a zombie slave. That’s a standard horror film plot right there. Carl Zimmer wrote the cover article for the new issue of National Geographic magazine, in which he gives us plenty of creepy examples from nature.
Frederic Libersat of Ben-Gurion University and his colleagues, for example, are dissecting the sinister attacks of the jewel wasp, Ampulex compressa. The wasp stings a cockroach, transforming it into a passive zombie. The wasp can then walk its drugged victim into a burrow by the roach’s antenna, like a dog on a leash. The roach is perfectly capable of movement. It just lacks any motivation to move on its own behalf. The wasp lays an egg on the roach’s underside, and the roach simply stands there as the wasp larva emerges from the egg and digs into its abdomen.

What is the secret hold that the wasp has over its victim? Libersat and his colleagues have found that the wasp delicately snakes its stinger into the roach’s brain, sensing its way to the regions that initiate movements. The wasp douses the neurons with a cocktail of neurotransmitters, which work like psychoactive drugs. Libersat’s experiments suggest that they tamp down the activity of neurons that normally respond to danger by prompting the cockroach to escape.
This is just one of many species that take over their victim’s brain, instincts, and behavior. Read about more of these parasites, as well as the research about them, in the NatGeo article Mindsuckers.

NYC Rats

The rats that dart between trash cans and crawl across subway tracks in New York may harbor some alarming illnesses, according to a new study.

Panda Loses

Giant panda home forest could be sold off under pending legislation in China, isolating already dwindling populations.

Monster Kangaroo

Stiff backs and strong joints indicate giant kangaroos may have been hop-less.

A Beaked Whale

The news excites researchers, who know little about an animal that spends much of its time diving at depth far from shore.

Crocodile Teamwork

Observations from researchers and citizen-scientists alike paint a picture of collaborative hunting employed by the ferocious creatures.

Jurassic Crocodiles

A trio of crocodile-like animals from Europe might have munched on dinosaurs and other impressively large prey during the Jurassic.

Dinosaur News

Dinos took long, heavy, deep and mucous-moistened breaths to keep their brains from frying.

Animal Pictures