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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.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Daily Drift

So, true ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
Sax ... !
Today is  - Saxophone Day
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Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Longueuil, Quebec, Ottawa and North York, Canada
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Kingston, Jamaica
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San Isidro, Peru
Reykjavik and Selfoss, Iceland
Bergamo, Ravenna and Naples, Italy
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Eskilstuna, Stockholm, Sveg and Kista, Sweden
Roosendaal and Amsterdam, Netherlands
Polva, Estonia
Dublin, Ireland
Vienna, Austria
Nesoddtangen, Norway
Saint Petersburg, Ryazan and Novosibirsk, Russia
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Colombo, Sri Lanka
Damascus, Syria
Hanoi, Vietnam
Jakarta, Indonesia
Guangzhou, China
Cairo, Egypt
Johannesburg and Polokwanie, South Africa
The Pacific
Sydney, Perth and Subiaco, Australia

Today in History

1429 Henry VI is crowned King of England.
1812 The first winter snow falls on the French Army as Napoleon Bonaparte retreats form Moscow.
1860 Abraham Lincoln is elected 16th president of the United States.
1861 Jefferson Davis is elected to a six-year term as president of the Confederacy.
1863 A Union force surrounds and scatters defending Confederates at the Battle of Droop Mountain, in West Virginia.
1891 Comanche, the only 7th Cavalry horse to survive George Armstrong Custer's "Last Stand" at the Little Bighorn, dies at Fort Riley, Kansas.
1911 Maine becomes a dry state.
1917 The Bolshevik "October Revolution" (October 25 on the old Russian calendar), led by Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, seizes power in Petrograd.
1923 As European inflation soars, one loaf of bread in Berlin is reported to be worth about 140 billion German marks.
1945 The first landing of a jet on a carrier takes place on USS Wake Island when an FR-1 Fireball touches down.
1973 Coleman Young becomes the first African-American mayor of Detroit, Michigan.
1985 Guerrillas of the leftist 19th of April Movement seize Colombia's Palace of Justice in Bogata; during the two-day siege and the military assault to retake the building over 100 people are killed, including 11 of the 25 Supreme Court justices.
1986 A British International Helicopters Boeing 234LRR Chinook crashes 2.5 miles east of Sumburgh Airport; 45 people are killed, the deadliest civilian helicopter crash to date (2013).
1986 The Iran arms-for-hostages deal is revealed, damaging the Reagan administration.
1995 The Rova of Antananarivo, home of Madagascar's sovereigns from the 16th to the 19th centuries, is destroyed by fire.
1999 Australia's voters reject a referendum to make the country a republic with a president appointed by Parliament.

Light Heart, Dark Humor

The Man Behind The Addams Family
Cartoonist Charles Addams was almost as bizarre as the characters he drew. His most famous creation, The Addams Family, has been reincarnated time and again during the past 70 years, coming back to life from the grave. Are his drawings morbid? Sure. But they're also immortal.

String Theory and Quantum Mechanics

String field theory could be the foundation of quantum mechanics

USC scientists suggest a connection that could be a huge […]

Norway ranked the world's most prosperous country

(iStock) Legatum Institute's 2014 Prosperity Index ranked Norway as the world's most prosperous country for the second year in a row, The Local reports. The United States came in 10th.
The study, now in its eighth year, takes into account each country's economy, entrepreneurship, governance, education, personal freedom, health, security, and social capital. The research included 142 countries, which represent more than 96 percent of the world's population and 99 percent of global GDP.
According to the research, an impressive 94.9 percent of Norwegians said they felt they could rely on their fellow citizens in a time of need. Scandinavia fared well overall, too: In addition to Norway's taking the top spot, Denmark ranked fourth, Sweden ranked sixth, and Finland ranked eighth.
Russia, meanwhile came in 68th place, ranking as Europe's worst performing country. See the full rankings here.

Why the Financial and Political System Failed and Why Stability Matters

by Nomi Prins
The recent spike in global political-financial volatility that was temporarily soothed by ECB [European Central Bank] covered bond buying reveals another crack in the six-year-old throw-money-at-the-banks strategies of politicians and central bankers. The premise of using banks as credit portals to transport public funds from the government to citizens is as inefficient as it is not happening. The power elite may exude belabored moans about slow growth and rising inequality in speeches and press releases, but they continue to find ways to provide liquidity, sustenance and comfort to financial institutions, not to populations.
The very fact that without excessive artificial stimulation-or the promise of it-more hell breaks loose is one that government heads neither admit, nor appear to discuss. But the truth is that the global financial system has already failed. Big banks have been propped up, and their capital bases rejuvenated, by various means of external intervention, not their own business models.
Last week, the Federal Reserve released its latest 2015 stress test scenarios. They don't even exceed the parameters of what actually took place during the 2008-2009-crisis period. This makes them, though statistically viable, completely irrelevant in an inevitable full-scale meltdown of greater magnitude. This Sunday, the ECB announced that 25 banks failed their tests, none of which were the biggest banks (that received the most help). These tests are the equivalent of SAT exams for which students provide the questions and answers, and a few get thrown under the bus for cheating to make it all look legit.
Regardless of the outcome of the next set of tests, it's the very need for them that should be examined. If we had a more controllable, stable, accountable and transparent system (let alone one not in constant litigation and crime-committing mode) neither the pretense of well-thought-out stress tests making a difference in crisis preparation, nor the administering of them, would be necessary as a soothing tool. But we don't. We have an unreformed (legally and morally) international banking system still laden with risk and losses, whose major players control more assets than ever before, with our help. 
The biggest banks, and the US and European markets, are now floating on more than $7 trillion of Fed and ECB intervention with little to show for it on the ground and more to come. To put that into perspective, consider that the top 100 global hedge funds manage about $1.5 trillion in assets. The Fed's book has ballooned to $4.5 trillion and the ECB's book stands at $2.7 trillion-a figure ECB President, Mario Draghi considers too low. Thus, to sustain the illusion of international systemic health, the Fed and the ECB are each, as well as collectively, larger than the top 100 global hedge funds combined.
Providing 'liquidity crack' to the financial system has required heightened international government and central bank coordination to maintain an illusion of stability, but not true stability. The definition of instability is this epic support network. It is more dangerous than in past financial crises precisely because of its size and level of political backing.

When will the American people finally get fed up with the wingnut media-hyped lunatic fringe wingnut fear-mongering?

Have you had enough? Are you tired of being played? Have you figured out that the members of the major media are not your friends, and that they exist to mesmerize and manipulate so that you can serve their owners' ends? When was the last time a major news story made you feel better? How long did it last? Do the major media ever go 24/7 with something inspiring, or is it easier to suck you in by playing on your fears?Remember ISIL? It was just weeks ago that a bunch of vicious terrorists videotaped themselves cutting off the heads of a few captured humanitarian Britons and Americans, and suddenly people halfway around the globe were terrorized into thinking it could happen to them. The media hyped it and the Republicans slavered over what they saw as a political opportunity. Then suddenly a man traveling from Liberia became the first person in the United States to become symptomatic with the Ebola virus, and ISIL was forgotten. A pandemic was coming! Break out your HazMat suits! Once again, the media obsessed, the repugicans with despicable cynicism tried to play the political angle, and much of the public was dutifully terrified.
This is what the major media so often do: terrify and terrorize. That's what repugicans always try to do: prey on people's deepest fears. And never mind that no American who wasn't traveling to Iraq or Syria ever was in any danger from ISIL, and never mind that Ebola is so difficult to transmit that not even one person who flew on a transcontinental plane or even lived in a small apartment with the one man in the United States who subsequently died from it ever came down with it. The major media held people enthralled, the repugicans sought to blame it all on President Obama and the Democrats, and in neither case was the general public ever at any risk.
Are you sick of it yet? Do you enjoy living in fear? Are you going to continue to fall for the hype and the lies and forget all about this week's false terror as soon as next week's false terror appears? Haven't you yet figured out that the terror has a thousand faces, but almost always it is concocted and marketed and politicized and almost never is it more dangerous than things we take for granted as normal aspects of modern existence. Like driving in motor vehicles. Or eating. What kind of people try to cash in on such sick fear-mongering? Do you continue to watch them and listen to them, and in some cases even vote for them? Are you as foolish as they presume you to be?

Ferguson's no-fly zone created to ground news-choppers

Freedom of Information Act requests from the Associated Press reveal that St Louis police requested the no-fly zone to prevent the press from getting overhead footage of the crackdown on demonstrations, and that the FAA was complicit in crafting an illegal ban that allowed commercial aircraft to land at the airport while still grounding the news-birds.
Needless to say, the story that the no-fly was created in response to shots fired on a police helicopter was just bullshit.
“They finally admitted it really was to keep the media out,” said one FAA manager about the St. Louis County Police in a series of recorded telephone conversations obtained by The Associated Press. “But they were a little concerned of, obviously, anything else that could be going on.
At another point, a manager at the FAA’s Kansas City center said police “did not care if you ran commercial traffic through this TFR (temporary flight restriction) all day long. They didn’t want media in there.”
FAA procedures for defining a no-fly area did not have an option that would accommodate that.
“There is really … no option for a TFR that says, you know, ‘OK, everybody but the media is OK,'” he said. The managers then worked out wording they felt would keep news helicopters out of the controlled zone but not impede other air traffic.

Women’s Greatest Enemy Is Evangelical Women, Not repugican Men

Even shaky reason dictates that a robust women's electoral movement would cleanse repugican patriarchs from Congress, governorships, and state legislatures, and bring the repugican war on women to an end…
There is no valid argument disputing the simple fact that America is a paradise for patriarchs and, to a slightly less degree, champions of misogyny. What defies logic, especially in the 21st Century, is that repugican patriarchs are able to maintain their hold on political power when women make up 51% of the population. Even shaky reason dictates that a robust women’s electoral movement would cleanse repugican patriarchs from Congress, governorships, and state legislatures, and bring the repugican war on women to an abrupt and just end. However, that is certainly not the case and it is down to American women’s greatest enemy and it is not repugican men per se, but the evangelical women electing them.
The repugicans have historically, and regularly, opposed any legislation aimed at granting women equal rights as American citizens, and although no Democrat or repugican has the courage to admit it, the unspoken and permanently entrenched “male supremacy clause” is founded in the biblical edict that women are commanded by a mysterious deity to be subservient to a man; any man, any time, any place, and under any circumstances. Although America is not a nation under bible, repugicans have had the greatest measure of success known to man in keeping women as subservient, second-class citizens in an nation alleged to be founded on equality, and their greatest supporters are not necessarily other patriarchs, but women who vote for repugicans.
What is stunning beyond comprehension is that women who support repugicans, particularly evangelical women, know full well that their support for repugican patriarchy is inflicting second-class status, and certain misery, on their own mothers, sisters, daughters, and other evangelical women. It leads one to assume that evangelical women either suffer from Stockholm Syndrome and adopted their patriarchal masters’ cult belief that women are born to be subservient to men, or they just hate other women; there can be no other explanations.
The repugicans running for the Senate and House have made little effort to conceal their anti-women’s rights agenda; particularly restricting every woman’s right to choose their own reproductive health. In both the House and Senate, repugicans have introduced “personhood” legislation that, if passed in a repugican-controlled Congress, will effectively criminalize birth-control as premeditated murder; choosing when to give birth will be eliminated. Many so-called wingnut 'christian' repugicans have more-than intimated that they are in strict agreement with catholic delusion that contraception is a mortal sin. And yet, even though over 95% of American women have used artificial birth control, including catholics and evangelical 'christians', at least half of them regularly vote for repugicans intent on adopting the catholic prohibition on artificial birth control. Not only to force women into perpetual birthing machines, but to control them.
Evangelical women also dutifully vote for repugicans in state legislatures and Congress intent on abolishing women’s  access to reproductive health providers and advocates such as Planned Parenthood, despite the lion’s share of their work is devoted to family planning, pregnancy counseling, pre-natal services, birth control, and cancer screenings; all things repugicans are adamant that women, especially poor women, do not deserve and will not receive if they control Congress. One can hardly imagine that any woman, even a staunch evangelical woman who embraces her own subservient position, would advocate for restricting other women’s access to any healthcare, much less reproductive health care, but when they vote for repugicans they are willingly, and with malice aforethought, denying other women’s access to health care.
If a woman refuses preventative cancer screenings, new baby coverage, or contraception, it is their right to choose for themselves. It may be inherently stupid, but it is their right to be inherently stupid whatever their motivation. However, for any woman to give unwavering electoral support to repugicans who promise to deny every other woman that coverage borders on pure evil, whether they are trapped in a cult or suffer Stockholm Syndrome.
Look, any person who would deny women the right to any healthcare options is deficient of basic human compassion, and all repugican candidates, especially males, appear to lack any regard for women. One just expects other women to show more compassion than repugican males, but as the evangelical repugican war on women demonstrates, there is no difference between repugican patriarchs or evangelical women; they both lack compassion for women.
Evangelical women are also aware that many, many women, especially their evangelical cohorts in the bible belt, work to help support their families and either earn poverty minimum wage, or if they are very fortunate  to hold “professional” positions, earn 76-cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. The repgicans have not only blocked every single piece of legislation to provide women equal pay for equal work, they vehemently oppose raising the pathetically-low minimum wage of which women make up the majority of the workforce earning poverty wages.
When women vote for repugicans, they are voting against not only their own economic well-being, they are voting to keep all women economically disadvantaged. One might think that being 'christians' these women would be aggrieved at the thought of anyone suffering in poverty due to repugicans keeping wages low, especially other evangelical women. However, they must be  mesmerized by their cult’s demand that subjection to a man is a pre-condition to enter heaven to deliberately vote for repugicans pledged to keep women economically disadvantaged.
The repugicans have made no secret of their economic agenda they claim appeals to women; but what woman in their right mind is attracted to earning less than a man because they are a woman, or loves earning poverty wages with no hope of an increase? Obviously many evangelical women do because they will help elect repugicans on Election Day. Also, what woman in their right mind embraces the prospect of perpetual pregnancy that repugicans will impose on them when they restrict access to contraception and a woman’s right to choose with a certain-to-pass personhood bill in a repugican-controlled Congress? Evangelical women, of course. It begs the question; are women who vote for repugicans’ anti-women policies devoid of compassion for their own mothers, sisters, and daughters, suffering Stockholm Syndrome, or brainwashed into helping force all women into biblical subjection to men? The answer is likely all of the above.
It is true that repugicans, primarily patriarchal males, are enemies of American women; of that there is no rational dispute. But without a majority of evangelical women loyally electing repugican patriarchs to positions of power, repugican men would be impotent to wage war on women; a war they could not prosecute without the loyal support of American women’s greatest enemies; evangelical women.

Woman arrested for stealing blind man’s car

Police in Vernon, Connecticut, arrested 33-year-old Laura Michaud on larceny charges after she stole a car from a blind man.
According to police, 8 months ago Michaud swindled a visually impaired acquaintance and stole his car. She then signed the vehicle’s title and other paperwork over to her, and registered the car in her name.
Detectives immediately started working on the investigation, and she was arrested on October 30 after a judge issued a warrant for her arrest.
Michaud is being held and is charged with Larceny in the 3rd degree, False Statement in the 2nd Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree, and Motor Vehicle Certificate Fraud.

Man used bulldozer in attempt to alter course of river

The Washington attorney general says a man used heavy machinery to fill and alter the course of the Tahuya River near his home without permits. William Cayo Sr. reportedly conducted hydraulic actives in connection with altering a channel of the river.
The AG says Cayo used an excavator and bulldozer to fill the river channel near his home in attempt to redirect the river. According to biologists, nearly 3 1/2 miles of river bed were moved to fill the active channel.
Unpermitted work can damage the riverbed and kill fish. A property owner can work with the county and other agencies to develop an effective hydraulic or shoreline under state law.

Cayo is charged charged in Mason County District Court with violation of the water pollution control act, violation of the shoreline management act, and conducting unpermitted hydraulic activities. The Tahuya River is a popular salmon run.

Man who taxied plane to pub faces charges

A man who taxied his light plane down a main street in Western Australia's Pilbara region and parked it outside a pub is expected to be charged.

Newman Police sergeant Mark McKenzie said the plane had its propeller running, its wings removed and was being steered by foot pedals on Friday. The man parked the plane outside the Newman Hotel and was then interviewed by police.

"It was a pretty stupid thing to do," Sergeant McKenzie said. "Kids were coming home from school. It could have been very ugly. All he needed was one gust of wind ... because without the wings, it's not stable. People think it was a bit of a laugh but it was very dangerous and we're not very happy with it."
Sergeant McKenzie said police had examined the Road Traffic Act but would likely charge the man under the Criminal Code. "I would assume there would be an offense under the Criminal Code that may fit the bill. I'm confident that he will be charged with something soon."

Man faces jail sentence for buying winning lottery ticket from his place of employment

Four months after buying a lottery scratch-off ticket that won him $900, a man from Winchester, North Carolina, now faces the prospect of a jail sentence. Authorities say Mickey L. Stone, 36, violated state law by buying that winning ticket at the Winchester liquor store where he was employed. Stone was charged this week with unlawful purchase of a lottery ticket by an employee, a misdemeanor carrying a maximum one-year jail term.
According to a report filed by Michael Bare, an investigator for the Hoosier Lottery, Stone bought the Diamond Mine scratch-off ticket at Hughes Pic-A-Pac, on June 6. At the time, Stone had worked at the store for about a year, the report said. The winning ticket was redeemed at Hoosier Lottery's headquarters in downtown Indianapolis on June 24. Interviewed by Bare at the liquor store in late July, Stone at first maintained he had bought the winning ticket in Huntington.
"I reminded Stone that, when the lottery ships tickets to one of its 4,400 retailers, they are in an inactive or inert state," Bare wrote. "In order for tickets to be recognized by the computer system, they must be activated. This can only be done at the lottery terminal in the store to which the lottery tickets were sold by the lottery." Stone eventually admitted that he "purchased the ticket at his place of employment," the investigator wrote, and "verified that he knew that it was illegal to have done so."
The Hoosier Lottery investigator told Stone that returning his winnings "might influence" a decision on whether a criminal charge was filed. "Stone suggested that he might make payments to the lottery, but I declined that idea," he added. Stone was not arrested this week after the charge was filed against him, in Randolph Superior Court, by Prosecutor David Daly's office. He will receive notice of an initial hearing in the case set for Nov. 12.

Colon Cleansing ... Not

A small but dedicated population out there is sold on the idea of regular colon cleansings, and while in some people that might be necessary, for most of us it might do more harm than good. 

Running Faster and Faster

Some experts say it's only a matter of time before runners pull off what previously seemed unthinkable: finishing a marathon in less than 2 hours.

Retro Photos


Photo by John Rawlings, 1950s

Dried Up Conflicts

Diminishing supplies of groundwater threaten the world's food supply and political instability, according to a new study.

17 Surreal Creepy Abandoned Places Around The World

These stunning relics of the not-so-distant past are insane.

Mexican jumping beans caused bomb scare

A US postal worker delivering mail in Carlsbad, California, reported a "ticking" package to authorities and it turned out to be something entirely unexpected.

The best scotch in the world isn't from Scotland

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty If you're craving the warm, relaxing embrace that only a snifter of the world's finest scotch can deliver, be prepared to head east. Far east.
After a review of some 4,500 varieties of whisky, scotch and whiskey (the differing names are more about geography than style or manufacture), the 2015 World Whisky Bible has named Japan's Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 as the best in the world. In fact, no Scottish or Irish varieties were even in the top five — a first in the award's history. While praising Yamazaki's "nose of exquisite boldness" and finish of "light, teasing spice," the Whisky Bible's Jim Murray told The Independent the winner was "a single malt which no Scotch can at the moment [can] get anywhere near."
Perhaps Scotland's distillers can formulate a comeback plan over a heaping plate of local sushi.

Choosing A Pepper

Flip the bell peppers over to check their gender. The ones with four bumps are female and those with three bumps are male. The female peppers are full of seeds, but sweeter and better for eating raw and the males are better for cooking. 

This Tree Looks Like a Dragon's Head

Here be dragons!
Or rather, on the south side of Rabat, Morocco, there's a dragon growing out of the ground. Redditor seiteta snapped this photo of a tree that is growing just the right way to inspire a fantasy novel.

Alien Invader In Your Yard

The Abnormal, Gruesome Gall
They appear as if from nowhere. A previously healthy looking plant suddenly has an abnormal growth protruding from it. Some are hideous and some strangely beautiful but they leave the plant looking as if it has been invaded by miniature aliens.
And in a way that's exactly what has happened. Take a look at the weirdness of the plant gall.

Fall-streak Hole

Australians this week were treated to a bizarre sight: a rare cloud formation which looked like a rainbow-filled hole punched in the sky. 

Man discovers 90-million-year-old fossilized turtle while hiking

A museum volunteer on a recreational hike stumbled upon what he thought was a simple pile of rocks, but turned out to be a far rarer find.
Jeff Dornbusch, a volunteer with the Truth or Consequences museum in southern New Mexico, saw a strange looking pile of rocks while on a hike nearly a decade ago — but he couldn't locate the exact spot he found them until recently. It turns out that those strange rocks remained intact and are actually the fossilized remains of a turtle that lived 90 million years ago, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports.
Thanks to Dornbusch, scientists and volunteers from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History excavated the turtle's remains last week.
The turtle is thought to have lived in a swampy environment tens of millions of years ago, during the late Cretaceous period. It will be taken to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History in Albuquerque for display.

Guts: Human vs Ape

Americans have gut microbes that are 70 percent different than chimps', which isn't a good thing.

Donkey barber keeps family tradition alive

Mohammed Mahmoud is a donkey barber in Egypt's capital city, Cairo - an expert in trimming and styling horses, camels, mules, sheep, goats, dogs - and donkeys.
It's a unique trade, but for Mahmoud it's a family tradition, passed down through the generations from his grandfather. He is a third-generation qassasseen, the Egyptian Arabic term for animal barbers.
Regular trims keeps the animals cool in the summer months and owners often request their initials being clipped into their flanks. Mahmoud charges around 20 to 30 Egyptian pounds per customer (£1.50 - £2, $3 - $5).

Each job usually takes him less than 30 minutes - depending on the order and how sensitive the animal is. But it can be dangerous work. He's lost a fingertip, broken his teeth and has various other scars from plying his trade over the years.

Oyster Filtration

Time-lapse video demonstrating oyster filtration. An adult oyster is capable of filtering 20 to 50 gallons of water per day. It is estimated that historic populations of oyster in the Chesapeake Bay were capable of filtering the entire volume of the bay in less than 5 days.

White Whale Birth

Beluga whale brings new life into the world after 15-month pregnancy.

Animal Pictures