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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.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Daily Drift

The Ninth of our trees of December ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
Thanks for the memories Willie (aka Emmett Kelly) ... !
Today is  - Weary Willie Day

Don't forget to visit our sister blog: It Is What It Is

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Neuquen, Argentina
Brasilia and Sao Paulo, Brazil
Beauharnois, Greater Sudbury, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec,Saint John, Saint John's and Vancouver, Canada
Lo Prado, Chile
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Teguicgalpa, Honduras
Tijuana, Mexico
Boaco, Nicaragua
Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Folsom, Keaau, Novato, Ocala, Orem, Selden and Soquel, United States
Hadzici and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Ruse, Bulgaria
Cluj-Napoca, Horni Pocernice and Mala Strana, Czech Republic
Zagreb, Croatia
Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
Leatherhead and London, England
Paris, Roubaix, Rouen and Saints, France
Reykjavik, Iceland
Tbilisi, Georgia
Falkenstein, Muenchen, Nue Isenburg, Nuremberg and Wuertzburg, Germany 
Athens, Greece
Ivrea, Milan, Ravenna, Rome and Savona, Italy
Riga, Latvia
Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Luqa, Malta
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Lagos, Portugal
Moscow and Saratov, Russia
Belgrade, Serbia
Gornja Radgona and Maribor, Slovenia
Barcelona, L'Olleria and Madrid, Spain
Kista, Sweden
Ankara, Turkey
Kharkiv and Kiev, Ukraine
Bangalore, Bikaner, Gaya, Jahanabad, Jamshedpur, Mumbai, Patna, Pune and Shillong, India
Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Astana, Kazakhstan
Seongnam, Korea
George Town, Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Male. Maldives
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Bangkok, Thailand
Al Jizah, Egypt
Durban, Pretoria and Stellenbosch,  South Africa
The Pacific
Homebush, Ipswich, Somerton and Subiaco, Australia
Auckland, New Zealand

Today in History

536   Having captured Naples earlier in the year, Belisarius takes Rome.  
1861   The U.S. Senate approves establishment of a committee that would become the Joint Committee on the Conduct of War.  
1863   Major General John G. Foster replaces Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside as Commander of the Department of Ohio.  
1867   The capital of Colorado Territory is moved from Golden to Denver.  
1872   P.B.S. Pinchback becomes the first African-American governor of Louisiana.
1900   The Russian czar rejects Boer Paul Kruger's pleas for aid in South Africa against the British.  
1908   A child labor bill passes in the German Reichstag, forbidding work for children under age 13.  
1917   The new Finnish Republic demands the withdrawal of Russian troops.  
1940   The British army seizes 1,000 Italians in a sudden thrust in Egypt.  
1941   Franklin D. Roosevelt tells Americans to plan for a long war.  
1948   The United States abandons a plan to de-concentrate industry in Japan.  
1949   The United Nations takes trusteeship over Jerusalem.
1950   President Harry Truman bans U.S. exports to Communist China.  
1950   Harry Gold gets 30 years imprisonment for passing atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union during World War II.  
1955   Sugar Ray Robinson knocks out Carl Olson to regain the world middleweight boxing title.  
1960   The Laos government flees to Cambodia as the capital city of Vientiane is engulfed in war.  
1990   Lech Walesa is elected president of Poland.  
1992   U.S. Marines land in Somalia to ensure food and medicine reaches the deprived areas of that country.   
2008   Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich is arrested on federal charges, including an attempt to sell the US Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Culinary DeLites

--will make 2 loaves
No kneading, you just mix it up and bake it!
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or homemade buttermilk--- 2 cups milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda

Cinnamon/sugar mixture:
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Cream together butter, 2 cups of sugar, and eggs. Add milk, flour, and baking soda. Put 1/2 of batter (or a little less) into greased loaf pans (1/4 in each pan). Mix in separate bowl the 2/3 c sugar and cinnamon.
Sprinkle 3/4 of cinnamon mixture on top of the 1/2 batter in each pan. Add remaining batter to pans; sprinkle with last of cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 min. or until toothpick tester come clean.
Cool in pan for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Antioxidant OJ

The antioxidant capacity of orange juice is multiplied tenfoldThe antioxidant capacity of orange juice is multiplied tenfold

The antioxidant activity of citrus juices and other foods is undervalued. A new technique developed by researchers from the University of Granada for measuring this property generates values that are […]

Toll House Cookies: A Long Secret History

You may have heard the story of how chocolate chip cookies were invented: in the 1930s, Ruth Graves Wakefield chopped up chocolate and added the bits to cookie dough without melting them, mistakenly thinking the chocolate would spread in the oven and produce chocolate cookies. It’s an interesting story, but it’s just not true. Wakefield was a renowned and accomplished baker who would never make such a mistake, nor would she take a shortcut with her cookies.
Back in 1930 Ruth Wakefield and her husband Ken bought what would become the Toll House Inn, intending to open a restaurant. It was in a good location, on the road between Boston and Cape Cod. With Ruth Wakefield’s experience as a Home Economist and her skillful cooking, high standards, and favorite family recipes, they were successful their very first year. Former employees attribute that success to Ruth Wakefield’s strict attention to detail and insistence on providing excellent service in addition to delicious meals. She had rules about every little thing, including the exact distance from the edge of the table the silverware should be. (She has a whole chapter on setting the table in her book.) In countless interviews, former customers raved about her sticky pecan biscuits (recipe below) that were set on every table for guests to nibble on while they decided what to order. Famous food critic Duncan Hines (yes, the cake mix guy) was particularly fond of her Indian pudding. Joseph Kennedy Sr. was said to drop by frequently for Boston Cream Pie. The restaurant was such a family favorite that Rose Kennedy had the Toll House Inn send weekly care packages to her sons overseas during WWII (JFK was partial to their Mary Jane Gingerbread.) In numerous newspaper articles from the forties on, customers and employees interviewed praised the gracious service and the wonderful desserts (they had their own separate menu!) Does this sound like the kind of place run by a woman who didn’t know what she was doing in the kitchen?
There are other tales of how the Toll House cookie recipe was invented, before we could ever buy chocolate chips at a grocery, that belittle Wakefield’s skills or even shift the credit for the cookie to a man. But Wakefield knew what she was doing. You can read the whole story of how the Toll House cookie came about, and see plenty of recipes for the cookies, its later variations, and even instructions for making Wakefield’s sticky pecan biscuits, at The Toast.

Top 10 Food Markets In Europe

Whether it's traditional stalls or the new breed of street-food events, these European markets offer tasty treats - and more interesting presents than you'll find at a naff Christmas market.

Stuck in the Middle

Polish Intellectuals Sound the Alarm on Russia
by Jurek Skrobala
Stuck in the Middle: Polish Intellectuals Sound the Alarm on Russia
Poland has long seen itself as stuck between the East and West, resulting in plenty of historical suffering. Russian aggression in Ukraine has many in the country fearing the worst. Leading Polish writers worry that the West isn't doing enough.  More

The Truth Hurts

You can blame the repugicans for this.

Eight Common Sleep Myths That Can Affect Your Slumber

You probably know that you don't really eat eight spiders every year in your sleep, but did you know that there are several other sleep fallacies floating around that could be affecting your slumber?
There are several sleep myths you've likely encountered that seem logical on the surface, but aren't entirely true when examined more closely. From snoring to boozing, here's the truth behind a few of these common sleep myths.

Classical Help

Works by Bach, Brahms, Mozart
 and others are effective aids that improve sleep patterns and reduce stress, studies find As the season of cramming and finals approaches, Trojans can get […]

Shaded Perception

One appears to be gray and the other yellow, but these two Xs are the same color:

Brain Games

Many companies offer programs to help keep your mind sharp -- but do they work? 

Panic Attacks

The middle-of-the-night, wake up and commence panicking about something thing is a feeling many know well. But why do we wake up in the first place and head straight into panic mode? Amy examines how our subconscious mind is a key panic problem. 

Shakespeare's Jokes

The first "Knock, knock.  Who's there..." was written by Shakespeare:  "Knock, knock, knock! Who's there, i' th' name of Belzebub? . . . [Knock] Knock, knock! Who's there, in th' other devil's name?"  [Macbeth II:3, 1-8]

The Antikyhthera Mechanism

If you have been following developments in the Antikyhthera mechanism you will want to read about an update on the subject.  The date it was constructed to be used was 205 B.C. - earlier than previously thought.

Random Celebrity Photos


Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Bardot

TV Station Reports Prison Break, Shows Picture of John Wayne

John Wayne, also known as Michael Fleet, escaped from a prison in Kentucky last week.
Or that's the impression you would get by this graphic shown by WDKY Fox 56, a television station in Lexington, Kentucky. It displayed mugshots of the two escaped prisoners. One of them showed the late actor John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, a character that he played in two western films: True Grit and Rooster Cogburn.
The news broadcasters later explained that the graphic shows the image of John Wayne as a default setting. They neglected to upload a photo of escaped prisoner Michael Fleet before displaying it on live TV.

French city ditches Nazi-style yellow badges for homeless people following uproar

France's second city Marseille has been forced to ditch a controversial initiative that saw homeless people handed ID cards adorned with yellow triangles prompting critics to accuse authorities of implementing a "Nazi-style" scheme. Authorities in Marseille were blasted for its plan to issue its homeless with ID cards featuring yellow triangles that detail their health issues. Although the initiative was aimed at making it easier for health workers to know what they were dealing with in emergency situations, human rights groups and government ministers were equally outraged, comparing the cards to the Nazi-era yellow Star of David that was sewn onto jewish people’s clothes during the Holocaust.
And the uproar put an end to the scheme on Friday when authorities in Marseille confirmed that they were scrapping the plan. “It’s finished. There won’t be any more cards,” the head of the social and medical emergency services SAMU Sociale René Giancarli said. “We never meant to cause any harm or trigger a controversy, but it happened,” he said, adding the cards had been stopped on the orders of the city’s mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin. Giancarli also said he could understand the criticism the initiative had gotten. “We just wanted good to come out of this, but I made a mistake. I admit that and I can accept when I’m wrong.”
The card, which was supposed to be worn visibly, identified the person with his or her photo, name and date of birth. It also specified whether the person had any illnesses or allergies. The front of the card was adorned with a yellow triangle. Several activist groups, including French human rights group La Ligue des droits de l’Homme, said they were troubled by the resemblance “of this card and the yellow star that the Jews had to wear during World War II.” It also got its fair amount of bashing by President François Hollande’s government in Paris. Social Affairs Minister Marisol said she was shocked to hear about the initiative and that she wanted Marseille to scrap the IDs with immediate effect.
“Forcing homeless people to carry a yellow triangle indicating the illnesses they might have is outrageous. You don’t point the finger at the poorest.You don’t write their illnesses on their clothes. Medical confidentiality, in particular, is a fundamental right. I want this local initiative to be stopped,” she said. On Wednesday, about 100 activists and homeless people also protested against the initiative outside the city’s town hall. Although Marseille’s Town Hall initially tried to defend the distribution of the cards, saying the purpose was to help health workers quickly come to the aid of a homeless person who has fallen ill or is in need of aid, it finally buckled under the pressure that they were too stigmatizing. Over 100 of the ID cards had been distributed before the plan was scrapped.

Hypnotist thief placed shopkeeper in a trance before robbing him

A “hypnotist thief” apparently put the owner of an off-license in a trance before rifling through his trouser pockets and stealing the day’s takings. Friends have said Aftab Haider, 56, the owner of independent wine merchants Hops and Pops in Highgate, north London, was “stunned” by the theft of hundreds of pounds in cash. The raid mirrors techniques used as entertainment by street magicians and is the first time its use in crime has been captured on CCTV in the UK. The suspect, an Eastern European man wearing a black bomber jacket, brushed past Mr Haider as he placed a bottle on a shelf, and gently tapped him on the arm. A few seconds later, the suspect made a stabbing gesture with his right hand at eye-level which appeared to leave Mr Haider, known as Aziz, mesmerized.
He reached inside the motionless shop owner’s trouser pocket, and pulled out his wallet before briefly squeezing his shoulder. The thief, who kept up a quietly-spoken patter throughout, then mimed the gesture of a pregnant woman’s belly as Mr Haider turned to face him. He reached into his other pocket and pulled out the day’s takings, hundreds of pounds in a bundle of notes, before tapping him once more on the shoulder and quickly walking out. Mr Haider snapped out of the trance a few seconds later, and shouted “Oi, oi, excuse me...” as the suspect pushed past another customer and hurried off into Archway Road.
Scotland Yard have now released the shop’s CCTV footage which captured the bizarre incident at around 9.45pm on September 11. A friend of Mr Haider said: “We had no idea Aziz had been hypnotized. When he told me what happened I just thought, how could he have just let someone hug him and start going through his pockets? He said he just suddenly realized the man had stolen from him and ran out of the shop to find him but he got away. He had hundreds of pounds stolen from him. It’s worrying if people can do that, other people might do the same.” Detective Sergeant Dave Bullock said: “The victim remained motionless and unable to stop the robbery taking place. He said that he was momentarily unaware of what had happened to him.

“The suspect’s distraction tactics appeared to have worked as he robbed the victim of cash from his pocket.“ Magician Damien O’Brien suggested the Mr Haider may have been previously hypnotized by the man to implant “trigger” words into his subconscious, suggesting the suspect had visited the shop in advance. He said: “You can never hypnotize someone on the first go, you warm them up. I would have thought he has already gone in there before and done some pre-suggestive stuff. He may have said on an earlier visit that the next time he comes in and touches the man on the shoulder he is going to go into a relaxed trance and will let him go into his pockets. The shoulder touch could be a trigger.”

Man told he risks life in prison for repeated foul-mouthed outbursts told judge to fuck off

A man from Devon, considered to be Britain’s rudest has been jailed for breaking an anti-social behavior order by shouting drunken abuse at strangers. George Lancelot, who has 176 convictions for repeated outbursts, suffers from a personality disorder which makes him swear and rant whenever he is out in public and has been drinking. He has spent more than eight of the last ten years in jail for breaking an ASBO which bans him from swearing in public at least a dozen times. His solicitor warned that he risks spending almost all of the rest of his life in jail because his mental condition means he will never be able to comply with the terms of his ASBO. He had only been out of jail for a few hours when he was arrested again, first for swearing during an argument over his release grant, then for threatening members of the public in a seaside resort. As he was led from the dock in Exeter Crown Court he shouted "I’d get less for burglary. F*ck off." Lancelot clocked up most of his convictions while he was living rough on the streets of Plymouth but carried on his abusive behavior after being found a home in Torquay. He had been back there for just a few hours after being released from jail when police were called to the Riviera Centre by worried members of the public who said he was swearing and threatening to stab passers-by. Lancelot, aged 61, of Torquay, admitted breaching an ASBO and was jailed or 20 months by Judge Phillip Wassall.
He told him: "I have to treat you as someone whose behavior completely disregards the ASBO. In 1999 you were diagnosed with a personality disorder and I am told there is unlikely to be any psychiatric disposition which to help you. The only thing the court can do is treat you as somebody who habitually breaks the order. On this occasion you were threatening to stab people, swearing and being aggressive to the public within hours of being released. Until you realize that this cannot go on, you will face longer and longer sentence. Unless you deal with this you could spend the rest of your life in prison.” Scott Horner, for the prosecution, said the ASBO, which has been in force for ten years, forbids him to use offensive or obscene words or gestures such are likely to cause harassment alarm or distress.
He said Lancelot was released from his last eight month sentence in November and within hours appeared before Plymouth Magistrates who released him again. Kevin Hopper, for the defense, said there is a danger of Lancelot spending almost all of the rest of his life in jail for public order offenses which normally carry a maximum penalty of just a few months. He said: "It is clear from the probation report that his mental health led to this behavior and he has a history of such issues. He was released from custody and within hours repeated the behavior. The reality is that unless there is some intervention, either enforced by the courts or through the mental health services, he will effectively serve a life sentence for public order offenses. He cannot comply with the ASBO because he is mentally ill and has a personality disorder. If he goes into custody he will be released and within hours he will be back here with the same outcome. He faces a life term but I don’t know what to suggest.” 

Dump truck driver arrested outside porta-potty after chase

The driver of a dump truck who didn’t stop for a Minnesota State Patrol commercial vehicle inspection outside Duluth at about 10am on Wednesday was arrested after he eventually stopped to use a portable toilet at a gravel pit.
The truck driver apparently refused to stop for an inspection and then led troopers on what appeared to be a chase. The driver eventually pulled into a gravel pit, drove to a distant area of the pit and left his truck to run into a portable toilet.
Troopers made cell phone contact with the driver while he was inside the porta-potty. The man eventually came out and was apprehended.
“Charges will be pending against the driver. And yes, he was arrested after he came out of a porta-potty,” said Sgt. Neil Dickenson, State Patrol spokesman in Duluth.

Man assaulted woman after she suggested he sign up for anger management classes

Police in Florida say a discussion about signing up for anger management classes prompted a man to physically assault a woman.
The 53-year-old victim told officer Ryan Leggett of Ocala Police Department that she was at a motel with her new boyfriend, George Robert Pineda, 44, whom she has known for a decade. She said that at around 10pm on Tuesday they were discussing their future, after they had been consuming alcohol throughout the evening, and she spoke to him about him taking anger management classes.
The woman said Pineda began screaming profanities at her, grabbed her neck and choked her. She said she could not breathe and eventually pushed him away. When he later fell asleep, she ran away and called authorities. The woman had scratch marks on her neck. Pineda was questioned by the officer.
He denied touching the woman. He was charged with domestic battery by strangulation and was taken to the Marion County Jail. According to court records, Pineda has several convictions, including aggravated battery and domestic battery, and a domestic violence injunction was served on him in 2013.

Inebriated lady driver said gobble gobble turkey when stopped by police officer

At 4am last Saturday, an Ohio police officer spotted a vehicle driving with its front right tire off the road. As the officer followed the car, the tire tore completely off the rim.
Undeterred, the driver continued moving, “leaving gouge marks in the roadway,” according to a police report. When Officer Matthew Downing pulled over the car, he noticed that driver Jessica Sorensen, 24, “exhibited signs of impairment.”
The officer’s observation appeared to be confirmed when he asked Sorensen how much she had to drink. Sorensen replied, “Gobble gobble turkey,” according to the North Ridgeville Police Department report.
Sorensen was then arrested on drunk driving and unsafe vehicle charges, and her car was towed from the scene. She was stopped about six miles from her family’s home in North Olmsted, a Cleveland suburb.

Random Photos

Hard Water

A desert plant plant, Helianthemum squamatum, can derive up to 90% of its fluid requirements from crystallization water (hydrates) trapped in gypsum rock.  Discussed at Reddit.

Environmental Drugs

Crop_research_mainDrugs in the environment affect plant growth

The drugs we release into the environment are likely to have a significant impact on plant growth, finds a new study nled by the University of Exeter Medical School and […]

Pumpkin Spring

The Grand Canyon's Arsenic Pool
Below the rim of the Grand Canyon runs the beautiful Colorado River. Many take trips down its length but among the majestic scenery is something which they do not quite expect - a huge, enormous gourd-like squash. Jutting out from the canyon wall and perched above the river, this highly unusual formation is known as Pumpkin Spring.

Dinosaur News

A dinosaur newly discovered in Argentina - Dreadnoughtus schrani - is the largest animal ever found (so far).  It weighed 65 tons (a Boeing 737 weights 50 tons).  The photo shows a toe bone.

Rare elephant twins born at South African game reserve

African elephant twins were born at Pongola Game Reserve, a privately-owned game reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday. Scientific evidence suggests that there is less than one percent prevalence rate of elephants twinning and even less of a chance that both twins survive into adulthood, making the birth of these young elephant twins an incredibly rare natural occurrence.
The yet unnamed twins were born to a 31-year-old elephant cow called Curve, so named for the curve of one of her tusks. She birthed three offspring before delivering the twins, all of which were male. Paternity of the twins points to Ingani, a 44-year-old elephant bull that died slightly more than a year ago. The sex of the twins remains unconfirmed as Curve is being given enough space and a fighting chance to beat the mortality odds for the twins.
Elephant specialist, Dr Ian Whyte, the retired projects manager: Large Herbivores: Department of Scientific Services at the National Parks Board, Kruger National Park said: “Though a few cases of twinning have been reported in the Kruger National Park, an examination of the reproductive tracts of over 1,200 adult cows culled in the Kruger National Park during population control operations did not yield a single case of twins.
“Mortality of one of the twins usually occurs as the increasing demand for milk by two calves cannot be met by the mother and the less dominant of the two calves usually cannot gain access to its share. One rather famous matriarch in Kruger dubbed MaMerle produced a set of twins in 2002, both of which survived to post weaning age, and she then produced a second set in 2006, both of which had survived to more than a year old when she was last seen. Curve needs a stress free environment to beat the odds.”

Animal Pictures