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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.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Daily Drift

Keep the glory in Ol'Glory - VOTE DEMOCRAT ...!
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Today in History

1570 A tidal wave in the North Sea destroys the sea walls from Holland to Jutland. More than 1,000 people are killed.
1772 The first Committees of Correspondence are formed in Massachusetts under Samuel Adams.
1789 The property of the church in France is taken away by the state.
1841 The second Afghan War begins.
1869 Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok loses his re-election bid in Ellis County, Kan.
1880 James A. Garfield is elected the 20th president of the United States.
1882 Newly elected John Poe replaces Pat Garrett as sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory.
1889 North Dakota is made the 39th state.
1889 South Dakota is made the 40th state.
1892 Lawmen surround outlaws Ned Christie and Arch Wolf near Tahlequah, Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). It will take dynamite and a cannon to dislodge the two from their cabin.
1903 London's Daily Mirror newspaper is first published.
1914 Russia declares war with Turkey.
1920 The first radio broadcast in the United States is made from Pittsburgh.
1920 Charlotte Woodward, who signed the 1848 Seneca Falls Declaration calling for female voting rights, casts her ballot in a presidential election.
1921 Margaret Sanger and Mary Ware Dennett form the American Birth Control League.
1923 U.S. Navy aviator H.J. Brown sets new world speed record of 259 mph in a Curtiss racer.
1926 Air Commerce Act is passed, providing federal aid for airlines and airports.
1936 The first high-definition public television transmissions begin from Alexandra Palace in north London by the BBC.
1942 Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower arrives in Gibraltar to set up an American command post for the invasion of North Africa.
1943 The Battle of Empress Augusta Bay in Bougainville ends in U.S. Navy victory over Japan.
1947 Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose flies for the first and last time.
1948 Harry S Truman is elected the 33rd president of the United States.
1959 Charles Van Doren confesses that the TV quiz show 21 is fixed and that he had been given the answers to the questions asked him.
1960 A British jury determines that Lady Chatterly's Lover by D.H. Lawrence is not obscene.
1963 South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated.
1976 Jimmy (James Earl) Carter elected the 39th president of the United States.
1983 President Ronald Reagan signs a bill establishing Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
1984 Serial killer Velma Barfield becomes the first woman executed in the US since 1962.
2000 First resident crew arrives at the International Space Station.

The psychology of workaholism

All work and no play: Study examines psychology of workaholism
Even in a culture that lionizes hard work, workaholism tends […]

Study Finds That Electing Democrats Is The Best Way To Create Jobs

A study of economic data over the past 75 years revealed that Democratic presidents create twice as many jobs and three times more job growth than repugicans.
An analysis of seventy-five years worth of economic data by economist Steve Stoft, and attorney/economic researcher Nathan Salminen revealed that Democratic presidents create a lot more jobs than repugicans.
Stoft found that Democrats have created twice as many jobs as repugicans. From 1940-2014, Democratic presidents have created 74 million jobs, while repugicans have created 35 million jobs.
It isn’t just the overall number of jobs created. Job growth increases more under Democratic presidents than under repugicans. Since 1940, job growth has increased 3% per year under Democrats and 1% per year under repugicans.
Graph: Job growth percentage:
The Gross Domestic Product also reaches its highest point when Democrats control both the White House and Congress (5.2%). When control of the White House and Congress is split between the parties, GDP growth is 2.9%. When repugicans control both the White House and Congress, GDP grows at (-.8%).
The data demonstrates that Democrats really do create more jobs than repugicans. Democratic ideas are more effective in terms of job creation than repugican policies. Tax cuts for the rich and other trickle down economic theories don’t work.
Even though he has been saddled with a repugican controlled House, President Obama has done a great job turning the economy around after the shrub created Great Recession. repugican economic policies don’t work because they substitute ideological belief for fact. repugicans have built their economic policy around the belief that wealth should be transferred upwards to the top.
The message to voters is clear. If the American people want a robust economy, the best move they could make would be to elect a Democrats to Congress. A Democratic Congress and a Democratic president would do wonders for this economy.

The Ervin South Carolina Bombshell. Could It Affect Nikki Haley’s Chances?

nikki haley
For the first time in this mid-term election cycle, South Carolina politics suddenly got interesting. The state’s just been politically “Ervinized.” But, first, a little background.
Make no mistake, ‘trounce’ will still be the South Carolina post-election catchphrase of the day come November 4th as most repugicans in this pitiful-wingnut state will take measure of their massively outspent Democratic opponents by easy double-digits. These feelings of dominance and invincibility may be tempered however, by one race that seemed to be a walkover that is no longer a walkover.
You all know the back story of the South Carolina governor’s race. The current governor, Nikki Haley, an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) puppet, wants to continue the states abysmally low rankings in almost every social and practical category of meaning. As I’ve written many times before, in a highly competitive field, Haley is, based on these rankings alone, the nation’s most inept governor. But, in the Palmetto state all that’s required of a governor is hate.
In its hatred of the federal government, the state has sacrificed hundreds of millions for vital educational and health programs. Nonetheless, hating the feds is an imperative, as is deep-seated racism as reflected in Haley’s abhorrence of “Obamacare”, not to mention Obama, himself. Let’s not forget hatred of gays. “It don’ make no difference what them liberal judges say, we ain’t lettin’ no gays git married in South Carolina.”
And unions? Don’t even get Haley started on unions. She’s already publicly pledged to block every attempt to unionize in the state. As quoted, “Union jobs aren’t welcome here.” Jobs that are welcome are those pieces of workplace pathos offered by greedy multi-nationals that are descending on the state like a massive swarm of locusts. Jobs that are assured to be non-union lest these companies have to pay living wages, guarantee safe working conditions and decent hours.
When not selecting South Carolina, the corporate biggies might actually have to pay taxes on U.S. profits in the U.S. instead of merging with some low-tax overseas corporate outfit of questionable character to create a phony “headquarters” to avoid American taxes.
Then there’s Haley’s arrogant disdain of human life in refusing to expand Medicaid to a certain group of low-wage earners. A move that is not only heartless, but will kill people. A Harvard study estimates as many as 1,300 annually in South Carolina alone. What kind of governor doesn’t care about killing people? We should throw her ‘hatred’ of environmental regulations into the mix. Regulations that minimize and control chemical releases that kill who knows how many of her fellow citizens.
This is not only a worthless, unfeeling governor; this is a worthless, unfeeling human being. And yet she commands comfortable double-digit leads in virtually every legitimate poll over her holdover opponent from her last gubernatorial run, State Senator, Vincent Sheheen.
Back to Ervinized and why that recent phenomenon is suddenly creating a modest opening for Sheheen in the governor’s race. Those who have followed this race are aware that there are five candidates. The two major parties, Independent repugican petition candidate, Tom Ervin and two political ciphers. The latter two are meaningless in terms of the outcome. Ervin is definitely meaningful, especially in light of recent developments. Tom Ervin is a 62-year-old former two-term state house member as a Democrat and a 14-year circuit court judge who currently practices law with his wife. He is philosophically still a moderate Democrat, though a few years ago, he declared himself a repugican to run for a couple of offices he craved. He lost both elections, but remained a repugican. Given that Haley won the repugican primary, Ervin was, by law, forced to run as an Independent in the general election.
He was a very effective candidate, giving both the major party candidates a dressing down on assorted issues. He was especially hard on Haley. His presence created vote switching that one would think would benefit Sheheen, the Democrat. As indicated earlier, while Ervin gained supporters, Sheheen lost them and Haley made a big move.
Now, all that could change. The ball, as they say, is squarely in Sheheen’s court. Ervin, who funded his own campaign to the tune of $4 million, suddenly dropped out of the race freeing roughly 8-10% of the total vote. I guess he felt he had made enough of an impression on the electorate and fully realized that, while certainly influential, he stood no chance of winning. One of his first post-dropout steps was to email an expression of strong support to Sheheen contributors under the Sheheen letterhead. The obvious question is, what difference will it make? Won’t repugican Ervin votes simply find a home in the Haley camp?
Maybe, but, as in TV reality shows, there’s a twist. Ervin has officially endorsed Sheheen. Some voters are now going to take a close look at why. In a local phone interview with reporter Jason Spencer, Ervin made the following statement, “It was a difficult decision, but I felt like it was time to put aside my personal ambition and try to do what’s best for our state.” Gee, what a novel approach to public service.
And Ervin has spelled out three reasons that it makes more sense to vote for the Democratic State Senator. According to the local press, those reasons are, ethics reform, domestic violence and economic development. He actually used the word “dishonest” in condemning Haley’s leadership on the issues.
The Haley camp provided a predictably snarky response that, of course, involved no substance whatsoever nor did it address Ervin’s concerns. Instead, deputy campaign manager Rob Godfrey, released the following statement, designed to push all the right-wing voter buttons. “Tom Ervin, Vince Sheheen and their LIBERAL TRIAL LAWYER CRONIES have always had the same agenda in this campaign. They have spent millions on false and shameful attacks and gotten nowhere with South Carolina voters. It’s no surprise that two PRO-OBAMACARE TRIAL LAWYERS would officially tie the knot at the end of the race.”
Not a peep about ethics reform, domestic violence and economic development.
Interesting response, but it will only be swallowed whole by those who are already in the Haley camp. Reasonable voters from both parties are going to wonder why there’s no rebuttal to Ervin’s issue concerns. They may even (GASP) do some research. I happened to talk with a state representative friend of mine today and consensus among his colleagues is that Ervin supporters are not happy with the move. Ergo, they may show their displeasure by simply staying home. Bottom line, who does that benefit?
I still expect Sheheen to lose, but by a narrower margin than I had earlier predicted. What does change is that, unlike Sheheen’s earlier predicament, there is an outside chance of an upset, unlikely, but not impossible when you add a majority of the 12% undecided vote. So thank you Mr. Legislator, judge, trial lawyer and straight talker, you just made things a lot more interesting.
In one race, at least.
BTW Democrats, please vote November 4th.

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Sneak Big Gift To The NRA Into Bill Banning Copper Theft

"Secondary metal" theft, where someone sneaks onto a property that is under construction and steals copper wiring or other valuable metal, is a very real problem that increases the cost of housing and other real estate development. It also has virtually nothing to do with gun rights. And yet, Pennsylvania state Sen. Richard Alloway (r) successfully added a provision that is likely to amount to a financial windfall for gun nut litigators onto a bill that was intended to protect against metal theft. The bill passed the state legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett (r) is expected to sign it.Although the bulk of the bill is devoted to new and increased penalties for metal thieves, Alloway's amendment makes three significant changes to the state's gun laws. First, although Pennsylvania law currently prevents local governments from enacting laws that provide additional protections from guns that aren't offered by state law, the new bill permits lawsuits by people and many groups "adversely affected by" a local gun ordinance. Significantly, the NRA is a "membership organization" that will be allowed to file suits under the bill.
The bill also requires courts to award "reasonable expenses" to anyone who successfully brings a lawsuit under this provision, and it requires such expenses to be paid by the locality that enacted the gun law even if "the regulation in question is rescinded, repealed or otherwise abrogated after suit has been filed . . . but before the final determination by the court." Thus, the law reduces the costs of bringing a pro-gun lawsuit, it deputizes the NRA to police gun laws enacted by city and town councils in Pennsylvania, and it gives the NRA an incentive to file as many suits as it can as quickly as possible.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, a major casualty of the new bill is likely to be several local ordinances "involving mandatory reporting of lost and stolen guns." The Inquirer also quotes Montgomery County Solicitor Sean Kilkenny, who says he recommends that three localities within that county repeal their lost or stolen gun ordinance - "[i]f a town like Jenkintown gets sued, a couple hundred thousand dollars would blow a huge hole in their budget."

Police seek thieving couple who walked out of store carrying table

A couple were caught on CCTV walking into a store and moments later leaving with a £299 table.
West Midlands Police have released CCTV footage of the theft in a bid to trace the pair.
The footage shows the pair walk inside the Next store in Arena Park, Coventry, on the afternoon of October 9.

The man, wearing a flat cap, takes a photograph frame off the table before less than a minute later the woman helps him to pick up the piece of furniture. They can then be seen to carry it through the front doors and out to the car park.

Man brandished knife at party-goers after being accused of taking too much stuffing from buffet

A man from Llandderfel in Gwynedd, Wales, brandished a knife at terrified party-goers in a row over buffet food. Craig Peter Stewart of Hen Ysgol threatened a man who he claimed insulted him while he was helping himself to food from a buffet table laid out for a birthday party at Llandderfel Hall, near Bala in the early hours of Sunday, 24 August.
Stewart, 31, pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing a knife when he appeared before Dolgellau magistrates last Thursday. The court heard that police were called to the hall at around 2.10am. Stewart said he had been “insulted” at the party by a man who made reference to the amount of stuffing he was taking from the buffet.
After leaving the party, the court heard, an intoxicated Stewart ret urned wearing different clothes with a hood, and carrying a large bread knife, a kitchen knife and a paring knife from his home, which was just 200 yards from the hall. When officers arrived on the scene they found Stewart being restrained by two fellow party-goers.
In defense, Stewart claimed he returned to the party with the knives as he “wanted more food” and there was “no cutlery on the buffet table”. And he said he had changed his clothes because he was feeling cold. But the prosecution labelled his version of events as “fantastical”. Stewart will be sentenced at Caernarfon Crown Court on Thursday, 6 November, after Dolgellau magistrates declined jurisdiction. He was released on conditional bail until the hearing.

Piece Of Metal May Solve Mystery Of Amelia Earhart's Disappearance

Amelia Earhart was an American aviation pioneer and the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Lockheed Model 10 Electra, Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean.
Now an aircraft recovery group says it may already have a part of Amelia Earhart's plane, and it thinks it knows where to find the rest of it. The group says new testing of a piece of metal found in the vast waters of the Pacific Ocean in 1991 gives the group increasing confidence that it's a part of the Lockheed Electra.

The Evolution Of Flying Ships

The invention of hydrofoils was one of the most revolutionary developments in the history of marine engineering. Hydrofoils are vessels that use wing-like foils below the hull in order to reach greater speeds on the water. The 'wings' are submerged so that the hull can be above the water.
When Italian inventor Enrico Forlanini built a full-scale hydrofoil boat (photo above) in 1906, the technology behind traveling on the sea took a hyper-leap. Despite their promise, hydrofoils did not take a leading role in marine technology. But throughout the last century an incredibly diverse fleet of these airplane-ship hybrids were built.

The Japanese Navy's Crazy Plan to Bomb Texas

)Other than a handful of submarine-mounted artillery bombings, a brief air raid by a single submarine-launched seaplane, and a few balloon-floated bombs, Japan was unable to directly attack the 48 contiguous United States during World War II. The Japanese did, however, have larger ambitions against the US heartland.
Pictured above is a surviving Kawanishi H8K, a seaplane operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. 30 of these planes would have been the strike force of an extraordinary plan to bomb Texas.
(Map: Note that Texas does not have a Pacific coastline.)
That did not dissuade the Japanese. They wanted to damage the oil fields then active in Texas. So they planned to fly 30 H8K seaplane bombers across the Pacific, refueling them with carefully-staged submarines. After refueling a final time off the coast of Baja California, the bombers would fly across northern Mexico and strike Texas.
Fortunately, the Japanese developed this plan too late in the war to make it feasible. They cancelled it and similar plans to bomb the Panama Canal.

The Women of ISIL

What's causing hundreds of women to join ISIL, a group that holds abominable views about females? Tara examines some of the reasons women join the terrorist group.

Survive Falling Faster Than Sound

Felix Baumgartner and now Google exec Alan Eustace have each broken the sound barrier without mechanical engine thrust to aid them. How on Earth can a person fall THAT fast and still live to see terra firma again?

Abnormalities and Chronic Fatigue

Brains of people who experience chronic fatigue are different than those of people who don't. 

Peter King says Ebola virus has turned airborne, scolds experts for being 'wrong'

From the "We are idiots" Department:
"I am not a scientist," repugicans opine when confronted with the science of climate change. Oh, if only we could convince them they were not epidemiologists either.
    repugican Peter King thinks the doctors are wrong on Ebola, suggesting the deadly virus might have mutated and gone airborne in an interview with Long Island News Radio last week.
    “You know my attitude was it’s important not to create a panic and it’s important not to overreact and the doctors were absolutely certain that this can not be transmitted and it was not airborne and yet we find out the people who have contracted it were wearing all protective gear,” said King.
His attitude was that it's important not to create a panic and overreact. His attitude now is screw all that, he's pretty sure we're all gonna die. Vote Peter King!
    “It’s time for the doctors to realize that they were wrong and figure out why they were wrong. Maybe this is a mutated form of the virus,” adds King later in the interview.
Or maybe the protocol for donning and removing the protective gear didn't work. Nah, it must be because upon coming to America the virus itself, once exposed to the Freedom in the Texas air, altered its very structure. That is clearly the more plausible scenario, so Peter I Am Not A Scientist just has to sigh and shake his head at all the stupid doctors who do not understand viruses and their transmission as much as he does.

Ebola Politics and Science

Spats between politicians and the public over how to react to the Ebola virus may threaten public trust and could keep workers from going to Africa. 

Crowd-Funded Ebola Cure?

A researcher raised over $100,000 in two weeks to buy a piece of equipment used in Ebola drug research.

Disease Inspired Movie Monsters

The forensics of movie monsters reveals that most popular Halloween and horror film characters aren't fearsome. They're just not feeling well. 

Resurrecting 700-Year-Old Virus

An entire plant virus is reconstituted from DNA in the 700-year-old sample. 

Mexico archaeologists explore Teotihuacan tunnel

Archeologists Make Incredible Discoveries In Tunnel Sealed 2,000 Years Ago
A years-long exploration of a tunnel sealed almost 2,000 years ago at the ancient city of Teotihuacan yielded thousands of relics and the discovery of three chambers that could hold more important finds, Mexican archaeologists said Wednesday.
Project leader Sergio Gomez said researchers recently reached the end of the 340-foot (103-meter) tunnel after meticulously working their way down its length, collecting relics from seeds to pottery to animal bones.
A large offering found near the entrance to the chambers, some 59 feet (18 meters) below the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, suggests they could be the tombs of the city's elite.
"Because this is one of the most sacred places in all Teotihuacan, we believe that it could have been used for the rulers to ... acquire divine endowment allowing them to rule on the surface," Gomez said.
Unlike at other pre-Columbian ruins in Mexico, archaeologists have never found any remains believed to belong to Teotihuacan's rulers. Such a discovery could help shine light on the leadership structure of the city, including whether rule was hereditary.
"We have not lost hope of finding that, and if they are there, they must be from someone very, very important," Gomez said.
So far Gomez's team has excavated only about 2 feet (60 centimeters) into the chambers. A full exploration will take at least another year.
Initial studies by the National Institute of Anthropology and History show the tunnel functioned until around A.D. 250, when it was closed off.
Teotihuacan long dominated central Mexico and had its apex between 100 B.C. and A.D. 750. It is believed to have been home to more than 100,000 people, but was abandoned before the rise of the Aztecs in the 14th century.
Today it is an important archaeological site on the outskirts of Mexico City and a major tourist draw known for its broad avenues and massive pyramids.
This Aug. 6, 2014 photo released by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) shows a sculpture unearthed at the Teotihuacan archeological site in Mexico. Mexican archaeologists have concluded a yearslong exploration of a tunnel sealed nearly 2,000 years ago at the ancient city of Teotihuacan and found thousands of relics. Teotihuacan dominated central Mexico centuries before the rise of the Aztecs in the 14th century. (AP Photo/Proyecto Tlalocan, INAH)

Echo Chamber

Sounds thought to have been supernatural, such as echoes in caves and canyons, appear to have inspired many early artists.

Will Wormhole Travel Ever Be Possible?

As a curious species, humans have long dreamed of traveling to the farthest depths of space. That's the major theme of the upcoming science fiction epic Interstellar, which will take Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway to the places we hope to one day reach ourselves. Except for that tiny hiccup called deep space travel.
The universe is big. And along with its enormous size, it's also incredibly spread-out; any neighboring planets, stars, and galaxies are depressingly distant. Proxima Centauri, the closest star to Earth, is 4.22 light years away. If the fast-moving Voyager spacecraft attempted to reach Proxima Centauri, it would take the tiny probe more than 80,000 years to get there.

This Bird Landed On A Page About Itself

Life Started Earlier?

Just 14 million years after the start of the solar system, Earth and the rest of the inner planets were inundated with water, setting back the clock for when life could have evolved.

Spider Myths Busted

A lot of the fear surrounding spiders is based on myths, not facts, according to the experts who study these eight-legged creatures.


These two New Jersey black bears are in an all-out brawl, knocking things over in a front yard of a home in a residential area. Occasionally stopping to rest and stare each other down while breathing heavily from the exertion, they eventually take the fight out into the street, as drivers pull their cars over to catch the action.

Stolen sheep found in woman's bedroom

A woman has been arrested after a flock of sheep which was reported missing was found in an outside room used as a bedroom on her property in Thabong, Johannesburg, South Africa, on Wednesday, said Free State police.
The room had a bed and a wardrobe in it, said police spokesperson Malebo Khosana. The woman was questioned about why the 12 sheep were there and she failed to give an explanation.

"She was arrested and the sheep were confiscated by the police," Khosana said. A farmer in Virginia had reported that 23 of his sheep were stolen. Police searched the area and five of them were found grazing in a nearby veld.
The sheep in the veld and the ones discovered in the women's bedroom were positively identified as the farmer's sheep through their markings. It was unclear what had happened to the five others which were still unaccounted for. The woman was expected to appear in court soon.

Animal Pictures

New Frog in the City

How could a frog go unnoticed in NYC for thousands of years? Discretion is everything.

Freaked Out Fish

Fish don't scream, so what's a scared fish to do? Researchers found that some fish warn others and express their distress by grinding their teeth.