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

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Daily Drift

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Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   

 Food ... !
Today is  - Food Day 
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Today in History

439 Carthage, the leading Roman city in North Africa, falls to Genseric and the Vandals.
1531 Bavaria, despite being a catholic region, joins the League of Schmalkalden, a protestant group which opposes Charles V.
1648 The signing of the Treaty of Westphalia ends the German Thirty Years' War.
1755 A British expedition against the French held Fort Niagara in Canada ends in failure.
1836 The match is patented.
1861 Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line, putting the Pony Express out of business.
1863 General Ulysses S. Grant arrives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to find the Union Army there starving.
1897 The first comic strip appears in the Sunday color supplement of the New York Journal called the 'Yellow Kid.'
1901 Anna Edson Taylor, 43, is the first woman to go safely over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She made the attempt for the cash award offered, which she put toward the loan on her Texas ranch.
1916 Henry Ford awards equal pay to women.
1917 The Austro-German army routs the Italian army at Caporetto, Italy.
1929 Black Thursday–the first day of the stock market crash which began the Great Depression.
1930 John Wayne debuts in his first starring role in The Big Trail .
1931 Al (Alphonse) Capone, the prohibition-era Chicago gangster, is sent to prison for tax evasion.
1934 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, called Mahatma or "Great Soul," resigns from Congress in India.
1938 The Fair Labor Standards Act becomes law, establishing the 40-hour work week.
1944 The aircraft carrier USS Princeton is sunk by a single Japanese plane during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
1945 The United Nations comes into existence with the ratification of its charter by the first 29 nations.
1945 Vidkun Quisling, Norway's wartime minister president, is executed by firing squad for collaboration with the Nazis.
1952 Presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower announces that if elected, he will go to Korea.
1970 Leftist Salvador Allende elected president of Chile.
1973 Yom Kippur War ends.
1980 Poland's government legalizes the Solidarity trade union.
1992 Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves in the 11th inning of the 6th game, to become the first Major League Baseball team from outside the US to win the series.
2003 The supersonic Concorde jet made its last commercial passenger flight from New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport to London's Heathrow Airport, traveling at twice the speed of sound.
2008 Many stock exchanges worldwide suffer the steepest declines in their histories; the day becomes known as "Bloody Friday."

9 strange facts about the history of apples

 by Emma McFarnon
Victorian children collecting apples (Culture Club/Getty Images)
1) The apple originated in the so called 'fruit forest' of Eastern Europe
The fruit would have been smaller and more bitter than the apples we eat today. Travelers through the forest would have eaten the larger, sweeter apples, and started the process of selection, spreading pips across Europe and north into the Baltic regions.
2) In the christian tradition the apple is associated with Eve's disobedience, right? Wrong
She ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and so dog expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. But the fruit is not described as an apple in any of the texts – the apple was put into the story by artists.
3) Apples don't grow true from a pip – each apple pip grows up into a unique tree
The only way to get exactly the same apple is to graft a piece of apple wood onto a piece of rootstock. The ancient Egyptians knew how to do this, as did the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The Celts were also aware of how to cultivate apples, so sweet apples existed in Britain before the Romans arrived.
4) Royalty have always loved apples
Henry VII paid huge sums for individual apples, and Henry VIII had an orchard in Kent with many different varieties, and he imported French gardeners to look after them. Meanwhile, Catherine the Great loved Golden Pippin apples so much she had them brought over to her palace in Russia, each one wrapped in real silver paper.
Queen Victoria was also a fan – she particularly liked baked apples. A canny Victorian nurseryman called Lane named a variety 'Lane's Prince Albert.' This apple is still in cultivation.
5) Apples are a linked to fairyland
It’s said that if you fall asleep in an orchard you may wake up years later, while treasure buried under an apple tree will allegedly never rot or be found. It's no coincidence that we go apple bobbing at Halloween: both the water and the fruit will put you in touch with the fairy kingdom. One Halloween tradition involves taking a bite from an apple and then sleeping with it under your pillow in order to dream of your true love.
6) Cooked apples were served as a street food
An 18th-century Italian traveler, Caraciolli, complained that the only ripe fruit he ate in Britain was a baked apple. A form of roasted, semi-dried apple – the Norfolk Biffin – is mentioned by Charles Dickens as a xmas delicacy: the Victorians ate a lot more fruit and vegetables than we might think.
7) Apples were sold from barrows and baskets in the streets of the big cities by costermongers
This old-fashioned word for greengrocer comes from 'costard', which was a large variety of apple. Lord Shaftesbury, Victorian campaigner for children's rights, once disguised himself as a costermonger, complete with a barrow of fruit and veg, to experience the working conditions for himself.
8) The Victorian era saw a huge increase in the number of apple varieties being grown
Many of these were bred by gardeners on large estates, and although they put the work in – grafting the scion onto the rootstock – the apples were named after their employers. Examples of such named varieties still extant include Lady Henniker and Lord Burleigh.
9) The Victorians studied apples
In 1854 the British Pomological Association was formed to test new varieties of fruit to establish their suitability for British growers. Its secretary, Robert Hogg, had set out his knowledge of fruit in his British Pomology, in 1851. Hogg’s opening sentence shows how important the apple had become to all aspects of culture and cultivation: “There is no fruit, in temperate climes, so universally esteemed and so extensively cultivated, nor is there any which is so closely identified with the social habits of the human species, as the apple”.

The Annual World Championship Outhouse Races in Virginia City, Nevada

The use of toilets is just simple - any description isn't even needed. But in Virginia City, Nevada, they are used in a special yet weird race.
Everyone's excited, especially the families who can't wait to gear up their toilets and see if everything's a-ok before this exciting event starts. This is the Annual World Championship Outhouse Races, in other words, this is a toilet race.

Leading runners led astray during half marathon forced to beg for money to get train back

Former Asian medalists Suresh Kumar Patel, Inderjit Patel and Soji Mathew got the shock of their lives on Sunday while leading in the Bengaluru half marathon in Karnataka, India, when the pilot vehicle reportedly missed a U-turn, leading to the trio being forced to abandon the race. Suresh, who finished sixth in the recent Asian Games, and Soji, a former Asian cross-country champion, finally had to beg morning joggers for Rs 20 to enable them to hop on to the metro from the Indiranagar station and return to MG Road.
"There were no officials on the road where we supposed to take a U-turn (at 16km). We were following the pilot vehicle and we had covered around 20 kilometers in one hour as we were going at a pace of 2 minutes, 59 seconds per kilometer. We were hoping to finish soon when the officials asked us to turn back. At that point there was no point in continuing the race and we decided to stop," Inderjit Patel said. "Last Sunday I won the Delhi CRPF half marathon in 1 hour, 11 minutes braving hot conditions.
"I was hoping to do under 1:03 minutes. I'm not bothered about missing the prize money but it is disappointing that we had to suffer this humiliation," Patel said. Soji, a former champion in Asian cross country, was dejected that he couldn't climb the podium. "Suresh Kumar, who came 6th in Incheon in 10,000m, was in the lead and I was trailing by some 50m with Inderjit behind me. We came down the flyover (Domlur) and were going further along when a few officials came and told us to turn back. Suresh and I stopped there. We had to beg for twenty rupees as we didn't have any money with us.
"Luckily, some morning joggers helped us and also guided us to the nearest metro station," said Soji Mathew. Soji said immediately after Inderjit also stopped the race realizing the goof-up. "Probably after the 15km mark we had doubts whether the route was correct as we saw only the full marathon hoardings. But then we were following the lead vehicle and at least nine of the runners lost their way," he added. Third place winner BC Tilak also admitted that he went wrong at one place. "I ran at least 1 km extra," he said. An official with the Elite athletes said the organizers admitted their mistake.

Blind darts team prepares for inaugural match

Cornwall's first blind darts team is preparing for its inaugural game. The four wholly visually impaired teammates will make their first appearance at the Dolphin Inn in Grampound on Thursday. Richard Pryor, who lost his sight 40 years ago, said the idea was mooted after a few pints at the pub, where the group of friends, called the Optimists, meet monthly.
Mr Pryor, 68, said: "While we were down the pub the other day, Joe, the landlord, mentioned that Rotary had organized for pubs to take part in the a Fast Darts competition. He asked if we wanted to put in a blind darts team. After three pints I am up for anything and we said yes." The team will be aided by a piece of string attached to the bull's eye which they will use with one hand as a tactile means to establish their aim. After "quite a lot of practice" and help from Joe's son, the Darting Optimists are preparing to make a throw.
Mr Pryor, a social worker, added: "No one has been injured yet, although there has been quite a bit of damage to the door and around the board. I think it's a great idea and it's quite exciting. We're always up for something that's a bit different. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's the end of the world. I have been blind for 40 years and I have had a superb time, I wouldn't swap it for anything. However, on the night people might want to stand back a little bit as I don't think we get any points for hitting the spectators."

Terri Rosnau-Ward, chief executive of the Cornwall Blind Association, said the county has blind shooting and bowls, but she has never come across a visually impaired darts team. "With the right bit of support there's nothing you cannot do," she added. "It might take you slightly longer but we can usually achieve the same things as sighted people." Fast Darts starts at 8pm and has been organized by the St Austell Bay Rotary Club to raise money for the Merlin MS Center and the other good causes it supports. Landlord Joe Fryer said it will be about having fun and raising money, although the door to the room where the competition takes place will be closed "just in case" a dart strays off course.

The Bird Hat Craze That Sparked A Preservation Movement

At the turn of the 19th century in the U.S. and Europe, it became wildly popular for ladies to wear feathers and whole taxidermied birds on their hats. One ornithologist reported taking two walks in Manhattan in 1886 and counting 700 hats, 525 of which were topped by feathers or birds.
Ornithologists started to sit up and take notice. A campaign to end the practice began. Ironically, middle-class women were at the forefront of the bird preservation movement. They were the rank and file and, thanks in part to their work, in the U.S. the movement led to the formation of the first Audubon societies.

Wreck of WWII German U-boat found off North Carolina

by Brad Lendon
Crew members are seen on a German U-boat, the U-576, in this undated photo released by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. The submarine was sunk during World War II more than 72 years ago, and its remains were recently found off the coast of North Carolina, NOAA announced Tuesday, October 21.
A World War II German U-boat, sunk during the Battle of the Atlantic more than 72 years ago, has been discovered off the coast of North Carolina, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday.
The German sub, the U-576, was found at the bottom of the Atlantic 30 miles off Cape Hatteras and just 240 yards from an American merchant ship, the merchant tanker Bluefields, which was part of a 24-ship U.S. convoy heading from Virginia to Key West, Florida, on July 14, 1942.
"This is not just the discovery of a single shipwreck," said Joe Hoyt, chief scientist of NOAA's Office of Marine Sanctuaries expedition, which found the vessels. "We have discovered an important battle site that is part of the Battle of the Atlantic. These two ships rest only a few hundred yards apart and together help us interpret and share their forgotten stories."
The story of U-576 was is the more tragic of the two wrecks.
U-576 sonar image from bottom of Atlantic off North Carolina coast
U-576 sonar image from bottom of Atlantic off North Carolina coast
Bluefields did not sustain any casualties during the sinking, but all 45 crew of the U-boat were lost.
Commanding U-576 that July day was Kapitanleutnant Hans-Dieter Heinicke. According to documents from the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, where the wrecks rest, Heinicke had radioed back to commanders in occupied France on July 13 to say the U-boat was damaged and heading back to Germany after a month-long patrol without success against Allied shipping.
As U-576 began that journey home, it ran across convoy KS-520, with 19 merchant vessels and five escorts, on the afternoon of July 14, according to the documents.
Heinicke, who was on his fifth U-boat patrol with relatively little success against Allied shipping, saw a chance for redemption.
"In spite of his damaged ship, Heinicke decided to attack at all costs," a history from the sanctuary reads. "However, at 4:00 pm just before he could fire his torpedoes, one of the Coast Guard cutters picked up a sonar contact. The Coast Guard crew dropped three depth charges, followed by five more 10 minutes later."
But Heinicke pressed his attack, firing off four torpedoes about 4:15 p.m.
"The U-576 sank the Nicaraguan-flagged freighter Bluefields and severely damaged two other ships. In response, U.S. Navy Kingfisher aircraft, which provided the convoy's air cover, bombed U-576 while the merchant ship Unicoi attacked it with its deck gun," the NOAA release reads. The sub sank in minutes.
Two NOAA research vessels, the Okeanos Explorer and SRVX Sand Tiger, participated in the search for the wrecks, which were found and verified in August, NOAA said.
The wreck site is considered a war grave and protected by international law.
"Few people realize how close the war actually came to America's shores," David Alberg, superintendent of NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, said in a statement. "As we learn more about the underwater battlefield, Bluefields and U-576 will provide additional insight into a relatively little-known chapter in American history."

Man who contacted local newspaper about sign he'd found surprised it became headline news

A New Zealand man is looking for the owner of a sign he believes has gone walk-about from a city business. The large black framed sign appeared at the end of Bevan Billing's driveway in Massey St, Palmerston North on Saturday night. Mr Billing said he had walked outside about 11.15pm to have a cigarette when he noticed the new arrival.
Not wanting it to be taken again, damaged or used to cause damage, he carried into his home, where it remains waiting to be claimed by its rightful owner. Massey St was commonly used as a thoroughfare for people walking home from town, and he believed it had been picked up and later ditched outside his house. The sign is similar to those often seen outside cafes, measures 850cm tall and 950cm wide, is covered with canvas and screen printed with a brand.
Mr Billing has contacted both the police and the Palmerston North District Council about the sign, and said he had been told by the council to put it back on the street to be picked up by a council truck. He was concerned however, it would be taken again before it could get that far. The sign is undamaged and the rightful owner should know what brand it displays and have proof of purchase.
The Manawatu Standard also published Mr Billing's home phone number so that the sign's owner could contact him. In the comment's of the online article, Mr Billing said: "Well I was not expecting this!! I only contacted the Manawatu Standard today to see if they might know who it might belong to. Thought at best they would maybe place a little ad in the lost and found section of the paper. Did not think it would be a headliner."

Police seek cat burglar caught on camera

Police officers in Laredo, Texas are searching for a cat burglar of sorts.
Surveillance video captured a man walk onto a man's front law and steal his giant inflatable Halloween cat.
The homeowner called police after waking up to find the ornament missing.

He checked his security camera footage which caught the entire crime on video. Police are now looking for the cat burglar who was seen leaving the scene in a white SUV.

Sweden hunts for mystery undersea intruder, could be Russia or possibly Nessie

The Swedish minesweeper HMS Kullen and a guard boat are seen in the search for suspected 'foreign underwater activity' at Namdo Bay, Stockholm October 21, 2014. [TT News Agency]
The Swedish minesweeper HMS Kullen and a guard boat are seen in the search for suspected 'foreign underwater activity' at Namdo Bay, Stockholm October 21, 2014.
Sweden's military is working on two new observations that could be evidence of suspected "foreign underwater activity" near the country's capital, said a senior naval officer today. Reuters:
Swedish forces have been scouring the sea off Stockholm since Friday, after what the military called three credible reports of activity by foreign submarines or divers using an underwater vehicle. The vessels were unidentified, but during the 1980s the Swedish navy from time to time hunted suspected Soviet submarines in its waters.
One of our readers suggests that it could be a sunken Ikea meatball cluster. But let's look at an enhanced version of that shot...
Stay Woke.

An Apology to Women

How to make science popular with the fair sex
by Sylvester Bames, PhD.
It has always dismayed me that women dislike science. It needn't be so, though. There is a simple way to make science comfortable and appealing to females.  
The Differences Between Men and Women
An American author called Deborah Tannen has written several books in which she examines the differences between men and women. Tannen has discovered a basic technique that I would recommend to every scientist, and indeed to anyone who writes about science. The secret is simply to use the phrase "I'm sorry." Tannen eavesdropped on many conversations between men and women. She also listened to tape recorded conversations that friends and colleagues had made for her. One of the great differences between the sexes, Tannen discovered, is thai women utter the phrase ''I'm sorry" in almost every conversation. Men say "I'm sorry" only when they are apologizing about something.  
The Success of Women
When women say "I'm sorry," they are not apologizing. They are using the phrase as "a ritual to grease the conversational wheels." All women understand this, Tannen explains. They do not expect the words to be taken literally. However -and this is the key point- women expect everyone to use this same ritual when speaking to them.
The Failure of Men
Men do not say "I'm sorry" all the time. This is a grave mistake. As Tannen neatly puts it, “This can lead to resentment on the part of the ritual apologizer." In other words, when a man fails to say a ritual ''I'm sorry," he comes across as a self-centered, domineering lout. This is useful knowledge, and we should all be grateful to Tannen for pointing it out.  
How to Make Science Appealing to Women
Whether you are lecturing about science or writing about science, here is how to make it palatable to women. Prepare your lecture or your paper in the normal manner. When you have polished it, and are prepared to deliver the talk or publish the report, you must take one extra step. It is a simple thing. At the beginning of your report, just add an apology. There is no need to specify what you are apologizing for. Just begin with the words ''I'm sorry." At the end of your report, apologize again. If your report is lengthy, you need to sustain the interest of the females. It's not a bad idea to add an apology at the beginning of every new chapter or section. An average of one apology every ten minutes will suffice. Do this, and you will soon find that your scientific reports are as fascinating to women as they are to men. Professionally, it will expand your circle of influence. Socially, too, it will work wonders. You will be amazed that, after years of thinking that females are put off by scientists, you have become the life of the party.  
Sorry Advice
To summarize-when you talk about science, say "I'm sorry," and say it often. Then you will never have to apologize for being a scientist.

What do you fear?

fears_225x225What Americans fear most

Chapman University has initiated the first comprehensive nationwide study on […]

Cyberbulling and the Law

With GamerGate all over the web, and 20 U.S. states with cyberbullying legislation on their books, is it getting tougher to be an Internet troll? And is it a slippery slope to try to legislate online speech? Trace tackles these thorny issues.

The Head of the Federal Reserve Just Gave a Rousing Speech on Inequality

Last Friday, Janet Yellen presented a thorough speech outlining the inherent problems income inequality presents to the American ideology, proving once again she is committed to using her role as Federal Reserve chair to tackle widening income inequality rates.
"The extent of and continuing increase in inequality in the United States greatly concern me," Yellen told the Federal Reserve of Boston. "The past several decades have seen the most sustained rise in inequality since the 19th century after more than 40 years of narrowing inequality following the Great Depression."
"I think it is appropriate to ask whether this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation's history, among them the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity," she added.
The speech, titled "Perspectives on Inequality and Opportunity from the Survey of Consumer Finances," follows several notable instances in which Yellen has indicated she would be actively working towards reducing wealth inequality-a more pointed approach that distances her from her predecessors, former chairs Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. In Friday's speech, Yellen also echoed Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) calls to fix the burden of rising higher education costs.

What The Hell Have repugicans Really Done For wingnut Voters?

by Allen Clifton
Wingnuts like to go on and on about the horrific policies of the Obama administration and how terrible Democrats are. But something that I seem to always notice is missing is what their party has done for them.
See, as a liberal who voted for President Obama, I can tell you what he’s done for this country:
  • Created over 10 million jobs
  • Presided over record high stock levels
  • Found and killed Osama bin Ladin
  • Passed health care reform
  • Saved the American auto industry
To just name a few, out of the long list of things that he’s done. These are quantifiable things that I can point to and say, “See, this is what my party did for me.”
Though conservatives will undoubtedly scoff at all of those. Because as we all know when it comes to wingnuts, if Faux News doesn’t say it, it’s not real.
But when it’s all said and done, what the hell has their party done for them?
Let’s get a couple of social issues out of the way:
  • Gay marriage
  • Abortion
Outside of the people directly involved in a same-sex wedding, or an abortion, how exactly does that impact anyone else’s life? The answer is simple: It doesn’t. So, continuing to fight for these social issues isn’t “doing something” to improve the lives of the wingnut voter. It’s just a power play based on some ignorant desire to control strangers based on what they believe is right or wrong. But even if same-sex marriages and abortions were illegal, that doesn’t “improve” the life of the average wingnut voter. Sure, it gives them a “win,” but it’s not doing something for them. Because the typical wingnut voter wasn’t going to have an abortion or marry a homosexual in the first place. So whether or not those two things are legal has absolutely no direct impact on their life. (Unless of course they’re a hypocrite and rally against things that secretly they would do, just to save face with their wingnuttery or 'christian' delusions.)
So, again, what has the repugican cabal done for the wingnut voter? Has this “trickle-down” economics made them rich? And don’t give me this “well Democrats keep preventing it from working properly” nonsense. Taxes have remained at all-time lows since Reagan. The rich are doing better than they ever have in this country. Many large corporations are making billions. So don’t give me this crap about taxes or regulations. If those were really burdens to our economy, then the rich would be suffering too.
And they’re not. In fact, they’re flourishing.
Is it guns? Because as far as I can tell, President Obama hasn’t passed a single law to strip away gun rights. Actually, the only suggestions he really made were universal background checks and limits on magazine size. And I’m sorry, but if you can’t hit a target with 10 bullets, you shouldn’t be operating a gun in the first place. And why would anyone oppose universal background checks? Have we become so paranoid in this country that we can’t wait a week for a gun? If you really believe your life is in that much immediate danger you either need to call 911 or seek professional help.
Besides, are gun rights really an issue on which you want to support an entire political party? How does that make sense? Vote against your own best interests in nearly every other facet of your life because you get to own more guns and get them a few days quicker than if the other party was in charge? Sure, you’ve got a safe full of guns – while you work 60 hours a week at two jobs for $7.25 an hour because the party you vote for refuses to raise the minimum wage. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.
And if I’m not mistaken (and I’m not) didn’t the shrub tell us back in the early 2000′s that his tax cuts were going to usher in economic prosperity and eliminate our national debt? So, how exactly did the opposite of that happen? That’s right, because trickle-down economics is scam.
Is it this fear-mongering against people on welfare? Wingnuts do realize that millions of wingnuts are on welfare, right? And when it gets right down to it, welfare abuse makes up a very small percentage of those receiving these benefits. But this also ties into the minimum wage issue. Because millions of American workers have full-time jobs, yet still rely on the government to survive. And as much as it “pains” me to say this, mostly repugican states lead the nation when it comes to citizens relying on government assistance.
Women’s rights? Please. Female wingnuts, please explain to me what the repugican cabal has done to secure true equality for women in America.
Then there’s always health care. After all, repugicans really tried to fix our broken health care system, right? Isn’t it amazing how suddenly “Obamacare” is some social radical idea, yet it was a repugican idea in the 90′s? In fact, the 2012 repugican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, passed nearly the exact same law while he was governor of Massachusetts. But I guess once the black guy supported the law, then it became “evil socialism.” And to this day, even with all of their objections to “Obamacare,” repugicans have yet to provide a single plausible alternative.
Except, of course, “Obamacare.”
Oh, and for the record, all of the propaganda repugicans use against the Affordable Care Act:
  • Canceled plans
  • Kills jobs
  • Premium hikes
  • Confusing
Those are actually all arguments as to why we need true universal health care for all.
The shrub pretended for eight years and repugicans had control of most of Congress for much of his time in Washington. What did wingnut voters get from it?
Is Iraq better off? No. Did we balance the budget? No. Did we pay off our national debt? No. Did we find Osama bin Ladin? No. Did we usher in unheralded economic prosperity? No. Did we “win the war on terror”? No.
Tell me, what the heck did repugicans do for anyone but the rich during the shrub’s eight years? The only people who really prospered during his time in the White House were the wealthy, big business, big oil and big defense. That was it.
So, wingnut voter, I ask of you: What the hell has the repugican cabal actually done for you?

Business and Wall Street Agree: The repugicans Are Killing the Economy

Now, after over five years of economists' warnings, banks, Wall Street, and the preponderance of retailers have joined Democrats in calling for quick and complete implementation of President Obama’s economic policies to save America
In philosophy, the natural order is the moral source from which natural law derives its authority and encompasses natural relations of beings to one another, in the absence of law, which natural law attempts to reinforce. According to repugicans and their Koch brother masters, the natural order encompasses bestowing the entirety of America’s substantial wealth on the richest one percent at the expense of the rest of the population. Indeed, there is nothing that will ever convince repugicans that a nation of peasants existing to enrich the wealthy elite is inherently detrimental to the country or its economy. Now, after over five years of economists’ warnings, banks, Wall Street, and the preponderance of retailers have joined Democrats in calling for quick and complete implementation of President Obama’s economic policies to save America.
Although repugicans work tirelessly to perpetuate, and truly love, increasing the income inequality that is killing the economy, America’s retailers and bankers joined Democrats in agreeing the government must “constrict the abyss between America’s struggling 99 percent and the one percent.” According to recently released reports, both “Wall Street and Main Street (retailers) have endorsed the President’s economic principals to reduce inequality for the sake of the economy, and support Democrats as the solution to a robust economic revival.
Even though repugicans depict themselves as the party for business and banks, it turns out that the repugican cabal’s economic policy is detrimental to their bottom lines and continued existence; particularly rising costs and stagnant wages since the shrub-repugican Great Recession. What both bankers and retailers really want instead of tax cuts, deregulation, and more repugican austerity and budget cuts are better incomes for all Americans that will lead to increased consumer confidence and greater purchasing power to trigger higher business profits. What they have learned after thirty years of “trickle-down” is that the trillions of dollars taken by the 1%, especially since 2009, have failed miserably to stimulate the economy. Instead, they demand more buying by the masses that Wall Street firms and analysis of 65 of the nation’s top retailers claim will only happen with, as President Obama preaches, growing the economy from the middle-out.
For example, in a report last month titled Inequality and Consumption, Morgan Stanley economists said, “Despite the roughly $25 trillion increase in wealth since the recovery from the financial crisis began, consumer spending remains anemic. Top income earners have benefited from wealth increases but middle and low income consumers continue facing structural liquidity constraints and unimpressive wage growth. To lift all boats, further increases in residential wealth and accelerating wage growth are needed.” The repugicans completely disagree and either resist consideration of raising the minimum wage or promote abolishing it altogether. According to the repugicans, increasing income inequality must continue and it is crucial that they convince the population that no wage is too low. It is a belief the Koch brothers espouse but it is rapidly losing favor in circles whose survival depends on a population of consumers.
Standard and Poor’s (S&P) rating agency concurred with Morgan Stanley’s economists in their August report, How Increasing Income Inequality Is Dampening U.S. Economic Growth, And Possible Ways To Change The Tide, and strongly advised the federal government to create “a path toward more sustainable growth, that in our view, will pull more Americans out of poverty and bolster the purchasing power of the middle class. A rising tide lifts all boats…but a lifeboat carrying a few, surrounded by many treading water, risks capsizing.” To “lift all boats,” S&P suggests a “high degree of rebalancing” that includes increased “spending in the areas of education, health care, and infrastructure to help control the income gap that, at its current level, threatens the stability of an economy still struggling to recover.” Contrary to wisdom of real economists concerned with America’s economic survival, repugicans across the country have been laser-focused on their austerity crusade to cut spending on education, infrastructure, and healthcare including the cruel heartlessness of refusing free Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
Despite the call from both banks and businesses to increase the minimum wage and spending on essentials for a robust recovery, congressional repugicans have obstructed and outright blocked each and every attempt by the President and Democrats to stimulate the economy. Despite trailing every developed nation on Earth in infrastructure, repugicans consistently refuse the President’s calls to increase spending on desperately-needed infrastructure repairs including roads, bridges, public buildings, and sewers that numerous economists, including some wingnuts, say is crucial for job-creation, increased consumer spending, and a vibrant recovery. Increased consumer confidence, and spending, is something all economists agree is for the good of the country’s economy but can only happen if incomes rise for the majority with higher wages and more well-paying jobs.
In yet another report released earlier this month titled “Retailer Revelations: Why America’s Struggling Middle Class Has Businesses Scared,” retailers believe that declining and stagnant wages, not taxes or regulations, are damaging their businesses; 88% of all businesses said weak spending is imperiling their stock prices, and 68% said that consumers’ perpetually falling incomes is a direct threat to business profits and their companies’ survival.
One CEO Said, “Consistent with so many of our fellow retailers, we are experiencing a retail funk” because our “fortunes and the middle class are inherently linked. When family incomes fail to rise, when the cost of living increases, or when workers cannot find jobs, retailers’ sales decline.” It is why some retailers, such as Costco, bucked the trend and instead of cutting wages when shrub-repugicans crashed the economy, they increased wages at the outset of the recession and gave new workers a starting wage of $11.50 an hour; subsequently Costco’s stock prices have tripled since the 2009 recession.
As CEO Craig Jelinek said “people need to make a living wage with health benefits to both put more money into the economy and create a healthier country. It’s really that simple.” Contrary to repugican economic sophistry and to punctuate a point savvy economists and President Obama have made ad nauseum, when the middle-class has more income, they will spend and as spending increases, businesses create jobs and the economy will thrive.
It is an incredibly damning indictment of repugican economic policy when businesses, banks, and Wall Street, groups repugicans claim depend on their economic prowess to survive and thrive, openly call for implementation of economic policies championed for over five years by President Obama and Democrats. For dog’s sake, even the wording S&P, Wall Street giant Morgan Stanley, and most businesses used to plea for “growing the economy from the middle out” was lifted directly from any one of President Obama’s economic speeches pleading with congressional repugicans to pass legislation to create “a path toward more sustainable growth and pull more Americans out of poverty and bolster the purchasing power of the middle class. Instead, repugicans have went in the opposite direction to guarantee the wealthy got all of the “$25 trillion increase in wealth since the recovery from the financial crisis began,” and make sure the middle and low income consumers continue facing structural liquidity constraints and unimpressive wage growth” regardless the damage to private enterprise.
Even though the main stream media is never going to report that businesses, banks, and Wall Street have endorsed President Obama and Democrats’ economic policies, even if it is for their self-preservation, there is no reason Democrats running for office should stay silent. American voters have heard President Obama say things like “a rising tide lifts all boats,” “the income gap is threatening the stability of the economy,” and the nation desperately needs a “high degree of rebalancing, increases in residential wealth, and accelerated wage growth.” However, if they heard it from Wall Street, banks, and the business sector, it may finally sink in that a vote for repugicans is a vote to destroy America’s economy and by extension, their own well-being.

Pew study finds Lush Dimbulb least trustworthy news source

Rush Limbaugh speaks during a 2012 ceremony inducting him into the Hall of Famous Missourians in the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. (AP)A new survey from Pew Research finds that Lush Dimbulb is America’s least-trusted news source. Thirty-nine percent of respondents to the Pew poll say they don’t trust Dimbulb, a bombastic wingnut radio hack. 
Faux News follows closely with 37 percent saying they don’t trust the network. 
Glenn Beck ranks third, with 24 percent of respondents saying they distrust Beck.
The Pew survey was conducted March 19-April 29.
PunditFact is tracking the accuracy of claims made on the five major networks using their network scorecards. By that measure, 61 percent of the claims fact-checked on Faux News have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire, the most among any of the major networks.
For the record, 82 percent of the claims we've checked from Dimbulb have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire.

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6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered

6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars DiscoveredA 6,000-year-old temple holding humanlike figurines and sacrificed animal remains has been discovered within a massive prehistoric settlement in Ukraine.
Built before writing was invented, the temple is about 60 by 20 meters (197 by 66 feet) in size. It was a "two-story building made of wood and clay surrounded by a galleried courtyard," the upper floor divided into five rooms, write archaeologists Nataliya Burdo and Mykhailo Videiko in a copy of a presentation they gave recently at the European Association of Archaeologists' annual meeting in Istanbul, Turkey.
Inside the temple, archaeologists found the remains of eight clay platforms, which may have been used as altars, the finds suggested. A platform on the upper floor contains "numerous burnt bones of lamb, associated with sacrifice," write Burdo and Videiko, of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The floors and walls of all five rooms on the upper floor were "decorated by red paint, which created [a] ceremonial atmosphere."
The ground floor contains seven additional platforms and a courtyard riddled with animal bones and pottery fragments, the researchers found.
Massive settlement
The temple, which was first detected in 2009, is located in a prehistoric settlement near modern-day Nebelivka. Recent research using geophysical survey indicates the prehistoric settlement is 238 hectares (588 acres), almost twice the size of the modern-day National Mall in Washington, D.C. It contained more than 1,200 buildings and nearly 50 streets.
A number of other prehistoric sites, of similar size, have been found in Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe. These sites are sometimes referred to as belonging to the "Trypillian" culture, a modern-day name. The name is derived from the village of Trypillia in Ukraine, where artifacts of this ancient culture were first discovered.
Archaeologists found that when this prehistoric settlement was abandoned, its structures, including the newly discovered temple, were burnt down, something that commonly occurred at other Trypillian culture sites.
Ornaments and figurines
Fragments of figurines, some of which look similar to humans, were also found at the temple. Like findings at other Trypillian sites, some of the figurines have noses that look like beaks and eyes that are dissimilar, one being slightly larger than the other.
Ornaments made of bone and gold were also discovered at the temple. The gold ornaments are less than an inch in size and may have been worn on the hair, researchers say.
At the time the prehistoric settlement near Nebelivkaflourished other early urban centers were being developed in the Middle East. And the newly discovered prehistoric temple is similar, in some ways, to temples from the fifth to fourth millennia B.C. that were built in ancient Middle East cities, such as those in Anatolia and Mesopotamia, Burdo and Videiko note.
For example a 6,000-year-old temple at the ancient city of Eridu, in modern-day Iraq, also had a floor partitioned into smaller rooms, they note.
The discovery was recently published, in Ukrainian, in the journal Tyragetia. Another paper reporting on recent research at the settlement was published recently online in the journal Antiquity.

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Kung Fu Stegosaur: Lethal fighters when necessary

The wound found in the allosaur fits well with what would result from a stegosaur striking under and upwards with its spiked tail. Fossil's of contemporaneous stegosaurs appear to have had unusually flexible and agile tails.
Stegosaurs might be portrayed as lumbering plant eaters, but they were lethal fighters when necessary, according to paleontologists who have uncovered new evidence of a casualty of stegosaurian combat. The evidence is a fatal stab wound in the pubis bone of a predatory allosaur. The wound -- in the conical shape of a stegosaur tail spike -- would have required great dexterity to inflict and shows clear signs of having cut short the allosaur's life.
"A massive infection ate away a baseball-sized sector of the bone," reports Houston Museum of Natural Science paleontologist Robert Bakker and his colleagues, who present a poster on the discovery on Tuesday at the meeting of the Geological Society of America in Vancouver, B.C. "Probably this infection spread upwards into the soft tissue attached here, the thigh muscles and adjacent intestines and reproductive organs." The lack of any signs of healing strongly suggests the allosaur died from the infection.
Similar wounds are seen in rodeo cowboys or horses when they are gored by longhorns, Bakker said. And since large herbivores -- like longhorn cattle, rhinos and buffalo -- today defend themselves with horns, it's reasonable to assume spiky herbivorous dinos did the same. A big difference is that stegosaurs wielded their weapon on their tails rather than their heads. Skeletal evidence from fossil stegosaurs suggests their tails were more dextrous than most dinosaur tails.
"They have no locking joints, even in the tail," Bakker explained. "Most dinosaur tails get stiffer towards the end." But stegosaurs had massive muscles at the base of the tails, flexibility and fine muscle control all the way to the tail tip. "The joints of a stegosaur tail look like a monkey's tail. They were built for 3-dimensional combat."
In order to deliver the mortal wound to the allosaur, a stegosaur would have had to sweep its tail under the allosaur and twist the tail tip, because normally the spikes point outward and backward. That would have been well within the ability of a stegosaur, Bakker said.
The fighting style and skill of stegosaurs should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the dinosaur battle scene in the 1940 Disney animated film Fantasia, said Bakker. That segment of the movie shows a beefed up allosaur attacking a stegosaur. The stegosaur delivers a number of well aimed tail blows at the predator, but loses the fight. The Fantasia stegosaur tail dexterity appears to be accurate, he said. But he questions the stegosaur's loss in the end. "I think the stegosaur threw the fight," he said. On the other hand, he points out stegosaurs had among the smallest brains for its body size of any large animal, ever.

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John Lennon commemorated by naming a new tarantula species from South America after him

A newly described tarantula species from Western Brazilian Amazonia was named Bumba lennoni in honor of John Lennon, a founder member of the legendary band the Beatles.
A newly described tarantula species from Western Brazilian Amazonia was named Bumba lennoni in honor of John Lennon, a founder member of the legendary band the Beatles. The new species is part of the tarantula family Theraphosidae which comprises the largest spider species in the world. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.
The name of the new species came across when the authors of the study Fernando Pérez-Miles, from the University of the Republic, Uruguay, and Alexandre Bonaldo and Laura Miglio, both from the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Brazil, found out that they are all great fans of the Beatles music.
The genus, Bumba, which is proposed as replacement of the old one Maraca, already taken and used for Orthoptera, also has a story behind the choice of name. The new name is taken from Brazilian theatrical folk tradition of the popular festival called Boi-bumbá (hit my bull), which takes place annually in North and Northeastern Brazil.
The new species, as other tarantulas, has defensive urticating hairs on the abdomen which produce irritation upon contact with the skin or sensible tissues.
The specimens used in the study were captured manually or in traps during the night in Caxiuaná, Pará, Brasil, which suggest they could be mainly nocturnal animals.

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