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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.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Daily Drift

The Thirteenth of our trees of December ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
Everyone Loves Horses ... !
Today is  - Day Of The Horse

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

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The Americas
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Brasilia, Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil
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Bogota, Colombia
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Boaco and Managua, Nicaragua
Luquillo, Puerto Rico
Mon Repos, Trinidad-Tobago
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Burgas and Glavinitsa, Bulgaria 
London and Wistow, England
Lyon, Roubaix and Rouen, France
Berlin and Neu Isenburg, Germany
Athens, Greece
Ivrea, Meda, Milan, Naples, Ravenna and Trieste, Italy
Mazeikiai, Lithuania
Amsterdam, Netherlands
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L'Olleria and Madrid, Spain
Falkenberg and Kista, Sweden
Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey
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Bangalore, Coimbatore, Dehra Dun, Kolkata, Noida, Patna, Powai, Pune and Shillong, India
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Johannesburg and Vereeniging, South Africa
The Pacific
Brisbane, Darwin, Homebush and Sydney, Australia
Upper Hutt, New Zealand

Today in History

1789   The National Guard is created in France.  
1812   The last remnants of Napoleon Bonaparte's Grand ArmeĆ© reach the safety of Kovno, Poland, after the failed Russian campaign. Napoleon's costly retreat from Moscow
1814   General Andrew Jackson announces martial law in New Orleans, Louisiana, as British troops disembark at Lake Borne, 40 miles east of the city. The Battle of New Orleans  
1862   The Battle of Fredericksburg ends with the bloody slaughter of onrushing Union troops at Marye's Heights. Maine's Colonel Chamberlain at Marye's Heights.  
1902   The Committee of Imperial Defense holds its first meeting in London.  
1908   The Dutch take two Venezuelan Coast Guard ships.  
1937   The Japanese army occupies Nanking, China.  

1940   Adolf Hitler issues preparations for Operation Martita, the German invasion of Greece.  
1941   British forces launch an offensive in Libya.  
1945   France and Britain agree to quit Syria and Lebanon.  
1951   After meeting with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, President Harry S Truman vows to purge all disloyal government workers.  
1968   President Lyndon B. Johnson and Mexico's President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz meet on a bridge at El Paso, Texas, to officiate at ceremonies returning the long-disputed El Chamizal area to the Mexican side of the border.
1972   Astronaut Gene Cernan climbs into his lunar lander on the moon and prepares to lift off. He is the last man to set foot on the moon.  
1973   Great Britain cuts the work week to three days to save energy.
1981   Polish labor leader Lech Walesa is arrested and the government decrees martial law, restricting civil rights and suspending operation of the independent trade union Solidarity.  
1985   France sues the United States over the discovery of an AIDS serum.  
2001   Terrorists attach the Parliament of India Sansad; 15 people are killed, including the terrorists  
2003   Deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein captured; he is found hiding in near his home town of Tikrit.

Police Christmas party raided by other police

Off-duty police officers in Melbourne, Australia, had their Christmas celebrations cut short when the boat they were partying on was found to be operating illegally. The off-duty officers, understood to be from a suburban police station, were partying on a boat cruising the Yarra River near Docklands on Friday when it was stopped by Water Police for a routine check. It was soon discovered that the party boat was operating without the correct liquor licensing.
It later became apparent the boat was full of off-duty police officers, making the inspection rather awkward. Police confirmed a number of boats in Docklands were inspected by officers from the Divisional Licensing Unit on Friday "as part of an ongoing operation". "Nine boats were checked on the night with seven minor breaches detected," police said in a statement.
"A number of off-duty Victoria Police employees were among patrons on one of the boats checked. The boat was allegedly found to be in breach of licensing conditions." The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation has started working with the owners of the party boat correct the issues.

The repugicans Completely Cave As President Obama Wins Big In Government Funding Deal

President Obama notched another big victory as repugicans put off their attempts to stop his immigration order and agreed to fund all of the federal government except Homeland Security through September 2015.
The Washington Post reported,
Congressional leaders have reached agreement on a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill that will keep most of the federal government funded through next September.
Months of protracted negotiations between Democratic and repugican leaders concluded on Tuesday night, with passage expected in the coming days, according to top aides. Final details of the legislation were still being sorted out and leaders were still mulling whether to approve a stopgap bill to give lawmakers a few more days to pass the final bill and avoid a government shutdown.
The repugicans are setting up a fight over President Obama’s immigration executive orders by setting the expiration date for Homeland Security funding for late winter 2015, but the deal also gives repugicans an easy out as they can quietly extend Homeland Security funding when the deadline approaches.
The truth is that this is a massive victory for President Obama. The repugicans will only have control over one budget before the 2016 presidential election puts a halt to any controversial congressional activity. Boehner and McConnell won’t shutdown the government in the middle of a presidential election, so it appears that 2015 will another year of budget battles.
President Obama is in a good position as repugicans prepare to take control of the Senate. The government shutdown threat is off the table for most of next year. The president has a coalition of Senate liberals that are willing to uphold his vetoes, and Democrats have an electoral map that tilts in their favor in 2016.
It’s looking like the new repugican congressional majority won’t accomplish much, if anything, next year. Fear of a government shutdown has forced Boehner and McConnell into Obama’s trap.
The repugicans may control Congress next year, but President Obama remains the puppet master who is pulling their strings.

The Truth Be Told


Calls Grow For Cheney and the shrub To Be Prosecuted For Torture

A top international official is calling for the criminal prosecution of top members of the Bush administration for torture and other war crimes. …

Why we do it ...

Authorities torture because of incompetence, revenge and a desire for control.

Brutal And Ineffective

The Senate Intelligence Committee's executive summary reveals that the CIA torture program was both brutal and ineffective.…

The Truth Hurts


Elderly man nailed for clever identity theft scheme

Prosecutors say he changed victim's name to his own
Ramon Perez-Rivera, alleged master identify thief.
Ramon Perez-Rivera, master identify thief. 
An elderly Mexican man who lived illegally in the United States for decades has been arrested in an ID theft scheme that prosecutors say was so clever, “a court unwittingly changed the name of the U.S. citizen whose identity he assumed to his own real name.”
In a 33-count indictment, 81-year-old Ramon Perez-Rivera is charged with assuming a false identity to obtain food stamps and Medicaid, as well as registering to vote and getting a U.S. passport and a driver's license. The case is one of the most unusual identity theft cases on record.
From the AP:
Unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Wichita, the indictment against Perez-Rivera and his 82-year-old wife, Antonia Vargas-Ortega, outlines a sporadic history of unlawful entry into the United States that dates as far back as the 1950s. It offers a glimpse at an immigrant family's life in the shadows that spanned decades — and left in tatters the identity of the 86-year-old Arizona man whose identity was hijacked. The government contends Perez-Rivera succeeded in fooling scores of state and federal agencies — with the exception of the times he tried to get Supplemental Social Security Income benefits from the Social Security Administration, where the scam finally unraveled.
Perez-Rivera faces a court appearance Wednesday on charges of aggravated identity theft as well as counts related to making false statements in order to obtain a passport, food stamps and Medicaid benefits as well as register to vote; lying to a federal agent; misusing a Social Security number to obtain a Kansas driver's license; and fraudulently attempting to get Social Security income benefits. His wife, now a naturalized U.S. citizen, also faces charges that include aggravated identity theft, making a false statement to the Social Security Administration and harboring a person unlawfully in the United States. Court records do not indicate whether they have attorneys.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson has prosecuted hundreds of immigration-related cases, and says he has never seen one in which a defendant changed the identity theft victim's name to his own name.

19 Secrets of UPS Drivers

In my neck of the woods, people occasionally talk about how lucky someone is to get a job at UPS. Sure, the pay is great, and the position is fairy secure compared to other private-sector jobs in an at-will state. However, UPS drivers earn every cent of their pay.
1. They’re always being watched.
UPS knows time is money, and it is obsessed with using data to increase productivity. Jack Levis, UPS's director of process management, told NPR that “one minute per driver per day over the course of a year adds up to $14.5 million,” and “one minute of idle per driver per day is worth $500,000 of fuel at the end of the year.” The hand-held computer drivers carry around, called a DIAD (short for Delivery Information Acquisition Device), tracks their every move. Ever wondered why your UPS man can’t stick around to hear your life story? He probably has between 150 and 200 stops to make before the end of the day, and he’s being timed. “You’re trained to have a sense of urgency,” says Wendy Widmann, who drove for 14 years. “Be polite, but you gotta go.” Sensors inside the truck monitor everything from whether the driver’s seat belt is buckled to how hard they’re braking, and if the truck’s doors are open or closed. All this data is compiled for UPS analysts who use it to come up with time-saving tactics.
And of course they are in a hurry: The trucks have no heat, A/C, or radios. But if you do a good job and stick around, there are rewards. Those are just a few of the things you’ll learn about UPS drivers in a list at mental_floss.

The Stories Behind 10 Real Fast Food Mascots

Chef Boyardee may not be gourmet food in a can, but the real Chef Boiardi was a famous chef who prepared food for presidents and patrons alike. And he's just one of the many icons we see every time we visit a grocery store. Who are these smiling faces on our favorite foods?
What's weirder than a gourmet chef becoming forever associated with pasta in bland tomato sauce? How about a woman that never existed and seems to change at least once every decade to appeal to the modern housemaker? Betty Crocker is only one such imaginary person used as a brand mascot.
Learn about more of these mysterious mascots over at TopTenz.

7 English Words You'd Never Guess Have American Indian Roots

Modern day English speakers might not know that many words were adopted from American Indian languages. These are words beyond the ones you learned in elementary school like moccasins or powwow, as well as the Mayflower-sized pile of place names derived from American Indian words, including the names of about half the states.
Here are some English words you'd never guess have American Indian roots.

A Eulogy To Clip Art

Microsoft announced that it's replacing the cheesetastic images with web-searchable galleries, effectively ending clip art as we know it. The collection of images that have graced so many PowerPoint presentations, family newsletters, and school-field-trip calendars is no more.
Clip art may have been clumsy and weird; it was also earnest, and full of the possibilities that came with our new found capabilities as publishers and creators and communicators. Here's a eulogy for a form of artistic expression that added wonder and whimsy to the words of a youthful Internet.

Walking on Ice Looks More Like Walking on Air

This lake in the High Tatras Mountains of Slovakia is crystal clear, to the point that those walking on it while it's frozen apear to be magically suspended in air. The video below captures hiker Tomas Nunuk walking on the frozen water. Such transparent ice forms due to a water content with a high level of purity freezing at a slow rate. Coupled with the beautiful surroundings, the lake seems like a frozen paradise!

Indigenous Activist Killed

The buried body of a missing Ecuadoran indigenous leader has been found, shortly before he planned to protest at the UN climate conference in Lima.

The Top 5 Most Eco-Friendly Homes In The World

It's becoming increasingly more important with home improvement to incorporate eco-friendly methods into our homes. While many of us stop at recycling, we look to these five home owners for inspiration and commend them on the ways they have incorporated sustainability into the structure of their homes.
Here are the Top 5 Most Eco-Friendly Homes in the World.

So This Is How The World Ends... Isn't It?

As Prof Stephen Hawking suggests artificial intelligence could be a disaster for mankind, and other scientists warn that asteroids will wipe out life on earth, what is the likeliest 'extinction-level' scenario for mankind?

Climate Change North

Climate change projected to drive species northwardClimate change projected to drive species northward

Anticipated changes in climate will push West Coast marine species from sharks to salmon northward an average of 30 kilometers per decade, shaking up fish communities and shifting fishing grounds, […]

Shimmering Changes

The glossy eggshell of a rare bird is so luminous that it actually changes color when viewed from different angles.

Smelling Foolish

The harlequin filefish smells like coral instead of dinner to things that would like to eat it. 

Vaquita Extinction

The rarest and most endangered marine mammal in the world is on the brink of disappearing, new research suggests. 

Annual Xmas Bird Count

The organization and its thousands of volunteers will take a census of birds throughout the Americas. 

Creepy Fliers

During your next flight, consider that one or more of these unsavory organisms will be in the cabin with you. 

Pointy-cheeked, Horned Dinosaur

The earliest known horned dinosaur from North America was not exactly kissable, given its spiky cheekbones and sharp beak. 

Lioness spotted roaming Indian city

A video captured by a motorist on Ghodbunder Road in Thane has people wondering whether lions exist in Maharashtra. Forest officials sprang into action and launched a search operation for the big cat. Animal activists suspect that the lion might have been kept in a farmhouse by someone and had strayed.
The video appears to show a fully-grown lioness walking down the street at night. As soon as the driver of the car saw the lion, he stopped the vehicle and kept the headlights focused on the beast. According to him, he waited inside the car and recorded the lion until it went across the road and disappeared into the jungle.
"After seeing the video, we tried to trace the lion with forest officials. However, till now, there has been no clues. The search will be on," said Pawan Sharma, founder of Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare. Confirming that the three lions at Sanjay Gandhi National Park are safe and healthy.

Thane chief conservator of forest Kaushlesh Singh, said: "The three lions are safe at SGNP. I saw the video clip and have sent teams to trace the lion. At the same time we are cross-checking the relevance of the video and trying to figure the location of the lion to ascertain whether it strayed from any nearby locality."

Accident-prone dog rescued after getting head stuck in pipe

A little dog with a penchant for getting into trouble had to be rescued by firefighters after getting her head stuck in a steel pipe on Sunday. Melissa Tabor and Judd Doramus were riding horses near their rural Idaho home in Garden City when their three year old Jack Russell Terrier, Baby Dog, ran off.
Though initially unconcerned when Baby Dog didn't come home, Tabor knew something was wrong. "We thought the coyotes got her or something," said Tabor It wasn't a predator that had snatched up Baby Dog, but the metal jaws of a pipe. "Her head was stuck in there and she was just going crazy," said Tabor.
Unable to pull her out, Tabor and Doramus called for help, taking Baby Dog to West Vet animal clinic and the power tools of the Boise Fire Department. With a little cutting - and plenty of sedatives - Baby Dog's escape began. "Something this small was quite a challenge because none of our tools are designed extricate something this small," said BFD Captain Tony Lloyd.

Thirty minutes of grinding later and the terrier was free. With a quick check from the doctor, Baby Dog was given a clean bill of health. Still working off the sedatives, Baby Dog was reunited with her sister, Little Dog. The pipe was taken home as a souvenir. "I don't think she'll stick her head in a pipe again," said Tabor. This isn't the first time Baby Dog has got into trouble. In March of last year, she and her sister knocked Tabor's truck out of gear and smashed it into a fence causing $3,300 in damage.

That’s a Big Kitty!

This is a Canada Lynx, a species that has been re-introduced to Colorado over the past 15 years after being almost wiped out in the U.S. Look at those big feet! They act as snowshoes, as the cat evolved to hunt in snow. The picture was taken at the Frisco Creek Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Colorado, formerly the Dieterich Native Species Treatment Center. You can read about the center at Mud ’N Feathers.
The center's founder Susan Dieterich commented on the post and assures us the lynx in the picture was fine, just sedated for a health check. A lynx can look amazingly cuddly when asleep, but dangerous when alert, because they prefer to avoid human contact.

Spotted Horses Are Marked by Human History

Analysis of DNA extracted from the bones and teeth of horses that lived between the late Pleistocene and the medieval period suggests that leopard coat patterns went in and out of fashion among breeders. Leopard coats were popular during the early Bronze Age, but by the end of the period the spots had almost disappeared. The patterned coats may have fallen out of favor because animals that inherit genes for the trait from both parents are night blind, which can make them timid and hard to handle. Yet some 1,000 to 1,500 years later, the coat color seems to have been reintroduced, perhaps through wild horses. “The behavior of breeders and their preferences changed at that time, as it does today,” Arne Ludwig of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research told Horse Talk. During the medieval period, spotted horses were depicted in art and literature, and favored by nobles who considered them symbols of chastity. To read more about how archaeologists are using horse genetics, see "Dappled Horse Paintings Decoded by DNA."

Animal Pictures