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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Daily Drift

Yeah, wingnuts are a curse, aren't they ...!
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Today in History

4004 BC According to 17th century divine James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh, and Dr. John Lightfoot of Cambridge, the world was created on this day, a Sunday, at 9 a.m.
1641 Rebellion in Ireland. catholics, under Phelim O'Neil, rise against the protestants and massacred men, women and children to the number of 40,000 (some say 100,000).
1694 American colonial forces led by Sir William Phips, fail in their attempt to seize Quebec.
1707 The first Parliament of Great Britain meets.
1783 Virginia emancipates slaves who fought for independence during the Revolutionary War.
1861 President Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus in Washington, D.C. for all military-related cases.
1918 President Wilson feels satisfied that the Germans are accepting his armistice terms and agrees to transmit their request for an armistice to the Allies. The Germans have agreed to suspend submarine warfare, cease inhumane practices such as the use of poison gas, and withdraw troops back into Germany.
1929 The first transcontinental air service begins from New York to Los Angeles.
1942 The Western Task Force, destined for North Africa, departs from Hampton Roads, Virginia.
1952 The Nobel Prize for Medicine is awarded to Ukranian-born microbiologist Selmart A. Waksman for his discovery of an effective treatment of tuberculosis.
1954 In Paris, an agreement is signed providing for West German sovereignty and permitting West Germany to rearm and enter NATO and the Western European Union.
1973 A U.N. sanctioned cease-fire officially ends the Yom Kippur war between Israel and Syria.
1983 A truck filled with explosives, driven by a Moslem terrorist, crashes into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The bomb kills 237 Marines and injures 80. Almost simultaneously, a similar incident occurs at French military headquarters, where 58 die and 15 are injured.
1989 The Hungarian Republic replaces the communist Hungarian People's Republic.
1998 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat reach a "land for peace" agreement.
2002 Chechen terrorists take 700 theater-goers hostage at the House of Culture theater in Moscow.
2004 An earthquake in Japan kills 35, injures 2,200, and leaves 85,000 homeless or displaced.
2011 Libiyan National Transition Council declares the Libyan civil war is over.
2012 The world's oldest teletext service, BBC's Ceefax, ceases operation.

The Real Stories Behind Some Of The Most Beautiful Colors In Art

Manganese black. Yellow ocher. Vermilion. Ultramarine. These pigments sound delicious. Their names are so sharp and elegant, it's as if the terms emote more meaning than just color. We can smell logwood, taste cochineal, touch mummy brown.
There is just something (quite scientifically) alluring about a perfectly saturated glob of paint or an electric mound of powdered hues, especially when its name is so tantalizing.

59 Creative Examples Of Beautiful Country Currency

We all use currency on a daily basis. Every country has its own unique currency which reflects their culture, history and events over time. Almost all country currency are unique and different, but here are 59 of the most creative and amazingly beautiful currencies of the world that will take back you into the world of art.

Ten Cool Products Invented by Kids

Hart Cain of New Philadelphia, Ohio, was thirteen years old in 2010. At the time, his sister was selling candles for a school fundraiser. Hart didn't like the girly scents of his sister's wares. It made him reflect on candle scents that would appeal to men. He went on to produce the candles, called "man-cans," which feature scents such as leather baseball mitt, gunpowder, freshly cut grass, bacon and pizza.Hart's candles are also unique in that they are contained by soup cans, the soup from which he donates to soup kitchens. Thus far, this enterprising young man has donated 80,000 cans of soup to feed the disadvantaged.

Read about nine more kid innovators here.

Hospitals Brace as Ebola Panic, Flu Season Collide

Hospitals Brace as Ebola Panic, Flu Season Collide
A young woman complaining of abdominal pain and nausea who had traveled to Africa arrived at a Long Island hospital fearful that she had contracted Ebola. She did not have the virus, but the pregnancy test was positive.
The woman had been to South Africa, more than 3,400 miles (5,400 km) from the three West African countries enduring the worst Ebola outbreak on record, and the trip ended six weeks prior, or twice the potential incubation period for Ebola infection.
"It tells you how ready for panic we can get ourselves," said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious diseases specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York. "There's a lot of anxiety and the answer to anxiety is information and training."
The woman's fear was emblematic of panic across the country since Liberian traveler Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States on Sept. 30. Two of the nurses who treated him at a Dallas, Texas hospital have since become infected, and several hundred more potential contacts, both direct and indirect, have been tracked.
Already dozens of false Ebola scares have been reported by hospitals even though the virus is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person and the virus is not airborne.
With the annual flu season looming, hospitals and doctors are preparing themselves for emergency rooms that may become flooded with patients who fear Ebola but instead have influenza, which can cause similar symptoms in the early stages such as fever and body aches.
But fear often trumps common sense, even though people should be far more worried about the flu given the toll it is known to take every year, doctors said.
"You're far more likely to die at this point from not receiving a flu shot," said Dr. Sampson Davis, an emergency medicine physician at Meadowlands Hospital Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.
The severity of the flu season, which varies from year to year, and any spread of Ebola in the United States, will be critical factors in how strained hospital resources may become. And while there are tests for influenza and screening protocols being put in place for Ebola, hospitals could also face patients with all sorts of ailments looking to allay misplaced fears.
"I think there will be an increase of people who want to get checked out just because of the fear factor, especially if we start to see more of a spread of Ebola," Davis said.
Influenza's Toll
Flu season typically begins in November and peaks in January or February. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized on average for flu-related complications each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Annual U.S. flu deaths have ranged as low as 3,000 and as high as 49,000.
Doctors and public health officials interviewed by Reuters said many hospitals are implementing protocols that limit Ebola testing to people who had direct contact with the disease, such as a healthcare worker, and recent travelers to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Fears that Ebola may spread in the United States intensified when it became public this week that the second Dallas-based nurse confirmed with Ebola had traveled on two domestic commercial flights days before she was diagnosed. U.S. health officials insist the likelihood of an outbreak here remains low.
"Outside of West Africa you are just not at risk," said Paul Biddinger, head of emergency preparedness at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Travel screening "is by far and away the most important part of our front-line intervention."
Ebola symptoms that mirror flu include fever, muscle aches, nausea and general weakness.
But most flu sufferers "also have cough, runny nose, scratchy throat, very congested," which can help differentiate the two illnesses early on, said Dr. Michael Parry, an infectious diseases specialist at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut. Emergency room staff also have a rapid flu test that can confirm influenza in a matter of minutes.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Pittsburgh, said hospitals also expect to see more of what they call the "worried well" - people who are generally healthy but believe they have a devastating disease.

No repugican Wave: Senate Polls Show More Good News For Democrats

Two new polls of the Senate races in Kansas and North Carolina reveal that a repugican wave remains media wishful thinking, as Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan leads in North Carolina, and Independent Greg Orman is tied with Pat Roberts in Kansas.
The PPP poll of North Carolina found Sen. Kay Hagan leading her repugican challenger Thom Tillis 46%-43%. The bad news for Republicans is that the North Carolina race features a voter breakdown that looks like the roadmap to a Democratic victory. Hagan lead with women (49%-37%), African-Americans (85%-4%), and young voters (61%-27%). Tillis leads with men (49%-42%), white voters (55%-34%), and seniors (54%-37%) Hagan has a better net approval rating (-9) than Tillis (-12), and has consistently maintained the same roughly three point lead for months.
The Kansas Senate race is turning into a nailbiter. A new Monmouth University poll shows Independent Greg Orman tied with repugican Pat Roberts 47%-47%. One of the main issues for Orman is that he has not been able to completely persuade Democrats. Orman got the support of 81% of Democratic. His support among Dems is ten points lower than the level of support for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis. What is helping Orman is that only 76% of repugicans are supporting Roberts. Orman’s inability to woo more Democratic support is probably due to his refusal to say who he will caucus with if he wins.
Democrats keep doing better than the media is giving them credit for. The 2014 election is extremely close. The idea that there will be a repugican wave as some sort of backlash against President Obama remains a media driven fantasy.
The reality is that the media has chosen to push an anti-Obama storyline while ignoring the fact that the 2014 election is one of the closest midterms in decades. Anyone who claims to know how this election is going to turnout is not telling the truth.
The repugican cabal has failed to turn the campaign into a national referendum on Obama, and the result is an election that is being contested on a state by state basis. The series of individualized election plays perfectly into the hands of the Democratic get out the vote machine.
The battle for control of the United States Senate will likely to come down to five close elections. The Senate majority will be decided by results in Georgia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Kansas, and Iowa.
Democrats are hanging tough, and in position to turn the repugican wave of 2014 into a trickle down the pant leg of American democracy.

Criticism of Obama’s pronouns falls apart

by Steve Benen
President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 37th Annual Awards Gala in Washington, D.C, Oct. 2, 2014. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty)As odd as this may seem, President Obama’s critics have taken a keen interest in his pronouns: for some of the wingnuts, carefully counting the number of times Obama uses the word “I” or “me” tells us something important about the president’s arrogance. Or something.
This line of attack has been ongoing for years, though Charles Krauthammer summarized the wingnuts' pitch about a month ago: “I mean, count the number of times he uses the word I in any speech, and compare that to any other president…. You know, this is a guy, you look at every one of his speeches, even the way he introduces high officials – ‘I’d like to introduce my secretary of State.’ He once referred to ‘my intelligence community.’ And in one speech, I no longer remember it, ‘my military.’ For dog’s sake, he talks like the emperor Napoleon.”
With this in mind, BuzzFeed put together an interesting research project.
BuzzFeed News analyzed more than 2,000 presidential news conferences since 1929, looking for usage of first-person singular pronouns – “I,” “me,” “my,” “mine,” and “myself.” Just 2.5 percent of Obama’s total news-conference words fell into this category. Only Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt used them less often. […]
While Obama has shied from the first-person singular, he’s leaned heavily on the first-person plural – “we,” “our,” “ourselves,” and “us.” In fact, he’s used it more than any president in the data-set.
Hmm. This would suggest Obama is actually the least narcissistic president in the modern era. Krauthammer, who specifically urged the public to “count the number of times he uses the word I in any speech,” isn’t just throwing around cheap criticism, the far-right pundit actually has the entire line of attack backwards.
In fact, this seems like a fine time for a new chart.
Note, the y axis shows the percentage of times a president used the words “I,” “me,” “my,” “myself,” and “mine” at a news conference.
To be sure, the idea that the president’s pronouns have come under fire is emblematic of wingnut criticism that’s spiraled to silly depths. Obviously, every president is going to take heat for nearly every decision, but when some of the nation’s leading commentators insist Obama deserves contempt for his use of “I” and “me,” these wingnuts may want to pause for a deep breath.
But even if we take the entire line of attack seriously, the complaints are still wrong.
As for the metrics, John Templon’s report added, “While presidential news conferences don’t capture the totality of how Obama or Hoover or Roosevelt talk, they represent one of the largest corpus – if not the largest – of presidential speaking. Every president has at least 125,000 spoken words in the data set. The news conferences also typically feature a mix of scripted remarks and a question-and-answer session. Even in presidential speeches, which are highly scripted, Obama’s usage of first-person singular pronouns ranks below average –1.6 percent vs. 1.8 percent.”
As best as I can tell, Krauthammer has not yet responded to the findings.

Tom Corbett Exposed For Photoshopping Black Woman Into Website Photo

In an effort to sway black voters his way, Pennsylvania repugican Tom Corbett has tried to make his re-election campaign more minority-friendly by including a photo of himself standing next to a smiling African American woman on his website.
The only problem is – this heartwarming scene never actually happened. Corbett’s campaign got the black woman from a stock photo and Photoshopped her in!
Before this Photoshop scandal was exposed and went viral, the faux feel-good image was the footer of Corbett’s website and appeared on every single page. It has since been switched out for a different photo, but here’s what was originally there:
Photo Credit: Tom Corbett website
The Corbett campaign has actually confessed that the woman was Photoshopped – and she’s not the only one! They reportedly said:
“The whole website footer graphic is a work of Photoshop. The graphic has both stock photos and actual photos in it.” [source]
Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczinski took it upon himself to track down the original image of the woman, which was sourced back to stock photo website Shutterstock.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
The photo was captioned “Financial Adviser Talking to Senior Couple at Home.” The only thing that was altered about the woman was the color of her shirt.
Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 9.41.07 PM
Corbett is obviously desperate to win over the African American community – like many of his repugican peers. As word of Corbett’s fake interaction with a black voter continues to go viral, it’s likely that he’ll keep struggling in his fight to get ahead of Democratic opponent Tom Wolf.
As of right now, this is the new footer for Corbett’s website:
Photo Credit: Tom Corbett website
This is a much better reflection of where Corbett is with black voters.

Tennessee: Ayn Rand's vision of paradise

by Les Leopold
The state ranks dead last in per capita tax revenue, and its low-income families are paying the price
If you're worried about where America is heading, look no further than Tennessee. Its lush mountains and verdant rolling countryside belie a mean-spirited public policy that only makes sense if you believe deeply in the anti-collectivist, anti-altruist philosophy of Ayn Rand. It's what you get when you combine hatred for government with disgust for poor people.
Tennessee starves what little government it has, ranking dead last in per capita tax revenue. To fund its minimalist public sector, it makes sure that low-income residents pay as much as possible through heavily regressive sales taxes, which rank 10th highest among all states as a percent of total tax revenues.[...]
As you would expect, this translates into hard times for its public school systems, which rank 48th in school revenues per student and 45th in teacher salaries. The failure to invest in education also corresponds with poverty: the state has the 40th worst poverty rate (15%) and the 13th highest state percentage of poor children (26%).
Employment opportunities also are extremely poor for the poor. Only 25% have full-time jobs, 45% are employed part-time, and a whopping 30% have no jobs at all.
So what do you do with all those low-income folks who don't have decent jobs? You put a good number of them in jail. In fact, only Louisiana, Georgia and New Mexico have higher jail incarceration rates.
From the perspective of Tennessee legislators, it's all about providing the proper incentives to motivate the poor. For starters, you make sure that no one could possible live on welfare payments (TANF: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families). Although President Clinton's welfare reform program curtailed how long a family can receive welfare (60 months) and dramatically increased the work requirements, Tennessee set the maximum family welfare payment at only $185 per month. (That's how much a top hedge fund manager makes in under one second.) As a result, the Volunteer State ranks 49th in TANF, just above Mississippi ($170).

Rising income inequality makes us want to bomb the crap out of everyone

by Joshua Holland .
War has long been seen as an endeavor urged on by the elites who stood the most to gain from conflict - whether to protect overseas assets, create more favorable conditions for international trade or by selling materiel for the conflict - and paid for with the blood of the poor, the cannon fodder who serve their country but have little direct stake in the outcome.
That was certainly the perception of the Vietnam War when Creedence Clearwater Revival hit the charts with "Fortunate Son" in 1969. Millions of poor kids were drafted and sent overseas to fight and die in the jungle while children of the affluent got deferments to attend college. (Dick Cheney famously said of the five deferments he received during that time, "I had other priorities in the 60?s than military service.")
Much has changed since then in terms of how and when wealthy democracies like the US make war. MIT political scientist Jonathan Caverley, author of Democratic Militarism Voting, Wealth, and War, and himself a US Navy veteran, argues that increasingly high-tech militaries [sic], with all-volunteer armies that sustain fewer casualties in smaller conflicts, combine with rising economic inequality to create perverse incentives that turn the conventional view of war on its head. His research looks at public opinion and military aggressiveness, and concludes that it's the working class and poor who are more likely to favor military action today. And that bottom-up pressure makes wealthy democracies more aggressive.
BillMoyers.com spoke with Caverley about his research. The transcript below has been edited for length and clarity.
Joshua Holland: Your research leads to a somewhat counter-intuitive conclusion. Can you give me your thesis in a nutshell?
Jonathan Caverley: My argument is that in a heavily industrialized democracy like the United States, we have developed a very capital intensive form of warfare. We no longer send millions of combat troops overseas - or see massive numbers of casualties coming home. Once you start going to war with lots of airplanes, satellites, communications - and a few very highly trained special operations forces - going to war becomes a check writing exercise rather than a social mobilization. And once you turn war into a check writing exercise, the incentives for and against going to war change.
You can think of it as a redistribution exercise, where people who have less income generally pay a smaller share of the cost of war. This is especially important at the federal level. In the United States, the federal government tends to be funded largely from the top 20 percent. Most of the federal government, I'd say 60 percent, maybe even 65 percent, is financed by the wealthy.
For most people, war now costs very little in terms of both blood and treasure. And it has a redistributive effect.

The President of Belarus Declares His Nation's Sausage Free of Toilet Paper

Comrades, our moment of liberation is at hand! Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the President of Belarus, has declared that toilet paper is completely absent from the sausage that his nation produces. This, he says, is in sharp contrast to the sausage of neighboring Russia. The dictator, referring to himself in the third person, told reporters that Belarus has kept the food standards that it maintained while it was in the Soviet Union. Radio Free Europe reports:
He told Russian reporters on October 17 that Russia had lowered its food-quality standards after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union "while we, thanks to Lukashenka, retained state standards."
"Belarusian [food] is of substantially higher in quality. There is no toilet paper in the salami and never was," he said.
He added that "such facts have been discovered at Russian enterprises -- toilet paper, soy, all kinds of additives."

Musings about the origin of WWI

From a "British History" column at the BBC:
lt was an act of regicide that catapulted Europe into war - an act that not unexpectedly took place in the Balkans. The region had been in a state of ferment for years, and the assassination of the heir to the Hapsburg Empire, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, by a Serbian nationalist, was the culmination of a train of events leading inexorably to war.

Yet at first the monarchs of Europe did not take the incident too seriously. lt was expected that the Hapsburg Emperor, Franz Josef of Austria-Hungary, would demand and be given an apology from Serbia. By now, however, Europe's leading nations were locked in alliances - there was Serbia with Russia, Russia with France, France with Great Britain, Great Britain with Belgium on the one side, and Germany and Austria-Hungary on the other. With Serbia's apology not proving abject enough, relations between Serbia and Austria-Hungary were broken off. This finally alerted Europe's family of kings to the danger that threatened them.

As the alliances clicked inexorably into place, a positive snowstorm of telegrams between the crowned heads tried to avert the inevitable. Kaiser Wilhelm II (Willie) was particularly assiduous in keeping touch with his cousins Georgie and Nicky. But by now there was nothing they could do. Their constitutional powers counted for almost as little as their cousin-hood. Although, technically, Franz Joseph, Nicholas II and Wilhelm II could perhaps have curtailed the coming hostilities, they were at the mercy of more powerful forces: the generals, the politicians, the arms manufacturers, and the relentless timetables of mobilization. Ultimatum followed ultimatum. In the face of national pride, imperial expansion and military glory, the protestations of the crowned heads were swept aside. On such giant waves, they could only bob about like so many corks.
Sound familiar?

Nazi war criminals collect millions of dollars in Social Security after leaving the U.S.

This undated photo shows the main gate of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz I, which was liberated by the Russians in January 1945. Writing  at  the gate reads: "Arbeit macht frei" (Work makes free - or work liberates).
This undated photo shows the main gate of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz I, which was liberated by the Russians in January 1945. Writing at the gate reads: "Arbeit macht frei" (Work makes free - or work liberates). “Dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals and SS guards collected millions of dollars in Social Security payments after being forced out of the United States,” an Associated Press investigation has found.
The payments flowed through a legal loophole that has given the U.S. Justice Department leverage to persuade Nazi suspects to leave. If they agreed to go, or simply fled before deportation, they could keep their Social Security, according to interviews and internal government records.
Many of the suspects lied about their Nazi pasts to enter the U.S. after the end of World War II, and later became American citizens. Among those who benefited:
— Armed SS troops who guarded the Nazi network of camps where millions of Jews perished.
— An SS guard who took part in the brutal liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland that killed as many as 13,000 Jews.
— A Nazi collaborator who engineered the arrest and execution of thousands of Jews in Poland.
— A German rocket scientist accused of using slave labor to build the V-2 rocket that pummeled London. He later won NASA’s highest honor for helping to put a man on the moon.
The AP's report is the result of over two years of interviews, research and analysis of records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and other sources.

Mystery clown is scaring children by lurking silently in streets and shops and stroking people

A mystery clown is scaring children in Portsmouth, Hampshire, by lurking silently in streets and shops and stroking people. Residents have told how the clown, wearing a scary mask and a suit, stands in streets in the town and does not speak. The clown is said to have entered Stage Door dance wear shop and stood still without saying anything. Shop assistant Karen Wilcock said it was inappropriate.
"Luckily no children were in the shop at the time, but he could freak people out. In this day and age we don't need this sort of thing." Andrea Hutchison from Preloved Portsmouth said the clown did the same at her shop.
"My daughter who's 22 hates clowns and would have had a full on hysteric if she'd seen him," she said. She said the clown was a 15-year-old schoolboy and a regular customer, but she did not know why he was dressing up. Police said they had received no criminal complaints and were not taking action.

Police helped boy with homework after responding to call about suspected burglar

An 11-year-old boy in Stockholm, Sweden, ended up getting help with his homework by the police after he rang them up saying he was concerned a burglar was breaking into his house.
The boy was home alone at night when he heard a loud thump and became convinced that a thief was trying to get inside. He quickly got on the phone to the local police who were dispatched to the scene.
After a quick check it turned out that there was no burglar but the boy was still upset and had another problem - his math homework. "He had called his mother also but he was on his own when the police got there.
"They didn't want to leave him alone so they sat down and helped him with his multiplication tables and other homework," Viktor Adolphson of the Södermalm police said. He said the boy was right to alert them in the first place. "Even though it wasn't a thief it was a good thing to do," Adolphson added.

Firefighters used liquid soap to rescue woman from chimney of man she'd briefly dated

Crews rescued a woman on Sunday who was trapped in a chimney for several hours overnight. According to the Ventury County Fire Department, firefighters had to slowly chip away at the bricks in order to remove the woman from a chimney in Thousand Oaks, California.
Neighbors heard the woman screaming and called officials at around 6:00am. She had reportedly been trapped since 3:00am. Firefighters said they also used liquid dish soap to make it easier to remove the woman. Family members of the trapped woman reported that she had briefly dated the a man who owned the residence.
Crews pulled the woman out of the chimney at around 8:13am. Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa, 30, has been identified as the woman. The homeowner’s chimney is now gone. The homeowner’s name is Lawrence and didn’t want his last name used. Robert Fisher, a neighbor, was one of the residents who called 911 after hearing the early-morning screams.

“We couldn’t believe it,” Fisher said. “This woman was definitely in distress,” Fisher added. “But no one knew where the voice was coming from.” The stuck woman’s family says she is a good person and have offered to pay for Lawrence’s chimney repair. Nunez-Figueroa faces charges of illegal entry into a residence.

Missing rafter found sleeping in garbage can

Officials looking for a man who disappeared on a rafting trip across the Long Island Sound say they found him sleeping in a garbage can in Connecticut.
The man, 33-year-old William Brandon McCreery, disappeared after heading on a rafting trip from Greenport, New York, on Wednesday at about 5 pm, officials say.
McCreery called a friend at about 7pm, indicating that there was a problem. Police and members of the Coast Guard say they started searching for McCreery after receiving reports about boaters knocking on doors in Clinton, Connecticut, seeking help.
Officials found McCreery later on Thursday sleeping in a garbage can in Clinton. It's not clear if he was suffering from hypothermia. Clinton and Greenport are separated by about 16 miles of water.

Scientists Say Smelling Farts Prevents Cancer

This is not a hoax, folks. Scientists out of the University of Exeter believe that smelling farts actually prevents cancer, among other diseases.smelling farts prevents cancer
"Although hydrogen sulfide gas"—produced when bacteria breaks down food—"is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced in the body and could in fact be a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of diseases," Dr. Mark Wood said in a university release.
Although the stinky gas can be noxious in large doses, scientists believe that a whiff here and there has the power to reduce risks of cancer, strokes, heart attacks, arthritis, and dementia by preserving mitochondria.
Researchers are even coming up with their own compound to emulate the smell's health benefits.
"We have exploited this natural process by making a compound, called AP39, which slowly delivers very small amounts of this gas specifically to the mitochondria," Professor Matt Whiteman, of the University of Exeter Medical School said. "Our results indicate that if stressed cells are treated with AP39, mitochondria are protected and cells stay alive."
So instead of getting upset the next time you catch a whiff ... be thankful.
This research has not been corroborated by any other source so take it with as many grains of (smelling) salt as you need.

"Two trillion rotations per second"

That's the speed of a molecular gyroscope.
Molecular gyroscopes are chemical compounds or supramolecular complexes containing a rotor that moves freely relative to a stator, and therefore act as gyroscopes. Though any single bond or triple bond permits a chemical group to freely rotate, the compounds described as gyroscopes may protect the rotor from interactions, such as in a crystal structure with low packing density or by physically surrounding the rotor avoiding steric contact... the rate for inertially rotating p-phenylene without barriers is estimated to be approximately 2.4 x 10^12 per second (2,400,000,000,000 RPS)...
The human mind (at least mine) is not capable of conceiving of such behavior.

Tractor Beams Are a Reality!

But They Don't Work in Space ...
by Mark Newton
When it comes to fighting space battles, I can imagine nothing more annoying than getting caught in a tractor beam - just ask Han Solo or Captain Picard. I mean, it's simply bad sport in my opinion.Although tractor beams usually only exist within the massive expanse of science fiction, they may soon be coming to a galaxy near you! Scientists at the Australian National University have actually managed to build a tractor beam which can move objects!
OK, before you get too excited by imagining giant lasers moving planets, I should stress the tractor beam is currently only able to move particles which are about one fifth of a millimeter in diameter. However, they were able to move them 20 centimeters (7.8 inches), which is actually rather impressive as far as I'm concerned. Lead researcher Wieslaw Krolikowski is certainly proud of his work, telling the Guardian:
Demonstration of a large scale laser beam like this is a kind of holy grail for laser physicists.
How Does It Work?
The beam is able to attract or repel objects by utilizing a single hollow laser beam which is described as "bright around the edges and dark in its center."
The laser is used to transfer energy across the surface of the object, this energy is then absorbed resulting in hotspots on the surface. Air particles which collide with these hotspots heat up and jump away from the surface - causing the particle to repel in the opposite direction.
What Can It Be Used For?
Well, in its current form, I wouldn't expect it to be much use for towing space cruisers. Indeed, the fact it requires air to function means it would not work in the vacuum of space - which might disappoint many.However, the researchers have hypothesized that their creation could be used for controlling atmospheric pollution or for the retrieval of tiny of dangerous particles for sampling.
What's Next?
It seems that following this initial demonstration, the tractor beam team are eager to scale up the experiment to move bigger objects for longer distances. Co-researcher Vladlen Shvedov claimed:
Because lasers retain their beam quality for such long distances, this could work over meters. Our lab just was not big enough to show it.

The reconstruction of Bryn Eryr, an Iron Age farmstead

Our farmstead will offer a colorful insight into home life at the time of the Roman conquest. 
Help us make it happen!
IanWe're currently building Bryn Eryr, an Iron Age farmstead based on an Anglesey archaeological site from the time of the Roman conquest – and with the help of Art Happens funders, we'll be able to kit them out with Iron Age mod cons.
This rural settlement will consist of two roundhouses built with six-foot-thick clay walls and conical thatched roofs. With the help of volunteers, our specialist historic building team are raising up the clay walls using traditional construction methods. Where possible they're using replicas of Iron Age tools made by the museum’s resident blacksmith. The roof will be thatched with spelt grown in a field nearby.
The homes in the settlement will be brought to life with the help of Art Happens; we'll be able to recreate Iron Age household goods, ranging from bronze cauldrons and Roman-inspired pottery to colorful textiles hanging on looms and decorative glass beads. These goods will be handmade by some of the finest craftspeople in Wales, as well as volunteers specially trained at the museum. When Bryn Eryr is complete, visitors of all ages will be able to discover the lives of its original inhabitants.
The settlement is part of the St Fagans National History Making History Project, whose goal is to transform the much-loved museum into a space where visitors can follow the stories of the people of Wales, from the first human inhabitants to the present day.
Iron Age farmstead in progress St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff
Iron Age farmstead in progress

Mada'in Saleh

Mada'in Saleh is a pre-islamic archaeological site located in the Al-Ula sector, within the Al Madinah Region of Saudi Arabia. A majority of the vestiges date from the Nabatean kingdom (1st century CE). The site constitutes the kingdom's southernmost and largest settlement after Petra, its capital.

Old Temple

A 6,000-year-old temple holding human-like figurines and sacrificed animal remains has been discovered in Ukraine..

Hot News

The odds are good that 2014 will become the warmest year in the books, fueled by record ocean warmth. 

What's The Difference Between A Hurricane, A Typhoon And A Cyclone?

It would be easy to assume that each of these devastating storms represent different types of extreme weather. In fact they are all descriptions of the same meteorological phenomenon - a rotating mass of air that centers around an area of low pressure, bringing high speed winds, heavy rain and thunder storms. So what's the difference?

A 500-Year-Old Monster Tsunami

Fragments of corals, shells and coarse sand in a natural sinkhole suggest that a mighty tsunami hit the Hawaiian Islands about 500 years ago. 

El Nino

el nino, floods, heavy precipitation, damage, enso, la nina, climate, seasonal forecasts 

Poisoning the water ...

In San Francisco, officials are being forced to resort to a fish-killing chemical to get rid of a lake's invasive species.

Animal Pictures