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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, December 28, 2014

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts why don't you watch a REAL news channel ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
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Today is  -  National Chocolate Day

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Today in History

1688   William of Orange makes a triumphant march into London as James II flees.  
1694   George I of England gets divorced.  
1846   Iowa is admitted as the 29th State of the Union.
1872   A U.S. Army force defeats a group of Apache warriors at Salt River Canyon, Arizona Territory, with 57 Indians killed but only one soldier.  
1904   Farmers in Georgia burn two million bales of cotton to prop up falling prices.  
1920   The United States resumes the deportation of communists and suspected communists.  
1933   President Franklin D. Roosevelt states, "The definite policy of the United States, from now on, is one opposed to armed intervention."  
1936   Benito Mussolini sends planes to Spain to support Francisco Franco's forces.
1938   France orders the doubling of forces in Somaliland; two warships are sent.  
1946   The French declare martial law in Vietnam as a full-scale war appears inevitable.  
1948   Premier Nokrashy Pasha of Egypt is assassinated by a member of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood because of his failure to achieve victory in the war against Israel.  
1951   The United States pays $120,000 to free four fliers convicted of espionage in Hungary.  
1965   The United States bars oil sales to Rhodesia.  
1968   Israel attacks an airport in Beirut, destroying 13 planes.  
1971   The U.S. Justice Department sues Mississippi officials for ignoring the voting ballots of blacks in that state.

The Teletubbies Sun Baby Revealed

The baby whose face became the sun on the TV show Teletubbies has spilled her secret. Jess Smith was just nine months old when she was recorded giggling, laughing, and looking. She’s now 19 and a student at university. Smith said students were encouraged to tell each other something no one knew, and her TV role came out. She later posted it on her Facebook page for her friends.
In 1996, her mother, Anji Smith, 44, took her to Edenbridge Hospital to be weighed and a health visitor, who had been asked by Ragdoll Productions to find smiley babies, put Jess's name forward.

Mrs Smith said it was never intended to be a big thing: "It was just something a bit different to do and we didn't expect it to be as big as it was.

"They just sat her in front of a camera and she just laughed and smiled at her dad.

"We didn't hear anything until we got a letter when she was 18 months old saying she'd been picked.

"It was really weird seeing her on television."     
You can read more of Smith’s story at The Telegraph.

Imagination vs. Reality

For the first time, the different pathways that reality and imagination take in the brain have been mapped.

Are You a Dude, A Buddy, Or a Pal?

What term do you use for a generic person: bro, buddy, dude, fella, or pal? Jack Grieve, a forensic linguist, analyzed tweets to create heat maps showing the relative frequency of these words. You can view the other maps in the series at Quartz. Where are your bros? They're down in Texas and its neighboring states. If you prefer the company of dudes, then you may wish to move to the Southwest or the Midwest.

Jack Daniels Names His Baby Jim Beam

When Jack Daniels Leathers was born 31 years ago, his parents named him after the whiskey in order to annoy their parents. Jack has always been proud of his name, and when he and Lydia went on their first date, they agreed it could be a tradition worth continuing (the names, not the annoying). The Louisiana couple got married, and on November 14, Lydia gave birth to their first child. They named him Jim Beam Leathers, after the bourbon. But that’s not the only whiskey name connection for the Leathers.
When they got married, Judge Johnny Walker of Houma officiated the ceremony.

“When Judge Johnny Walker realized that he was marrying Lydia to Jack Daniels, he turned red. We wanted to get in touch with Judge Walker to notify him that Jack Daniels had a son named Jim Beam,” he said.
Jack and Lydia have already picked out more names. If they have a second boy, he will be named Evan Williams, or Sherry if they ever have a daughter.

What $1 Will Buy You In Different Countries

1. In Mexico, for the money you can buy 48 bananas.
2. In Australia, you will be able to talk for one minute on a mobile phone.
3. In Zimbabwe, for $ 1, you CAN buy A Wide Variety of things. In Harare “Dollar Market” Offer everything from clothes to Food, at A price of One Dollar.
4. In Canada, you can buy one organic apple.
5. In Haiti, you can buy four rice dishes.
6. In Belgium, for $ 1 you get a pack of gum.
7. Greenland can buy 1 liter of gasoline.
8. In Venezuela, you will be able to fill half or even a full tank, depending on the size of your gas tank.
9. In Saudi Arabia, for $ 1, you can go one mile taxi.
10. In Honduras, for the same money you will be taken anywhere in the city.
11. In the Italian city of Ganji for $ 1, you can rent a house.
12. In Finland, for the same money you can go to the toilet for an extra charge.
13. In Denmark, you can buy a chocolate Kinder maxi.
14. In Jordan, for $ 1 you buy chocolate, Pepsi and a bag of chips.
15. In Japan, you can buy one onigiri.
16. In Indonesia, for one dollar, you can be nice to have dinner.
17. China will be able to buy a pint of local beer on tap.
18. And in the Czech Republic for one dollar can buy three bottles of beer in a large supermarket.
 19. In the UK, you will be offered one Pickled Egg.
20. And in Vietnam will be able to purchase more than forty quail.
21. In Egypt, for a dollar you can buy six falafel sandwiches.
22. In Portugal you will find a small cup of espresso.
23. In Switzerland, for a dollar you get a little piece of the world-famous Swiss cheese.
24. In Thailand, for the same amount you will get a green Thai curry and rice.
25. In Kenya, you can buy 8 heads of cabbage, 4 tomatoes and 4 bulbs.
26. Ireland will be able to buy a bag of chips.
27. And in Nepal for one dollar will be able to taste the local manta rays in the amount of 10 pieces.
28. In Norway, for the money you do not buy anything.

Economy Surges Forward As GDP Growth Fastest In More Than A Decade

Thanks, Obama!
The federal government reported Friday that real GDP growth rose by 5.0% for the third quarter of 2014, marking the fastest growth in any quarter since 2003. The number was higher than most analysts had predicted as growth was expected to be robust by closer to 4% due to initial estimates last month setting the growth at 3.9%. Increased consumer and business spending were the key factors leading to the higher number.
With a second straight quarter of rapid growth, the conventional logic thrown about from conservatives that President Obama’s policies are destroying the economy and the Affordable Care Act is the “nation’s number one job killer” looks downright silly. In fact, one of the major drivers in the fast growth is the fact that health-care spending has increased, showing that more people who now have insurance are able to utilize health services. This, in turn, also creates job growth in that industry.
This is just the latest in a string of good economic news for this current administration. Currently, the unemployment rate is at 5.8%, and job growth is at its strongest level since the Clinton Administration. Low gas prices are allowing consumers to spend more money elsewhere. While wages aren’t rising as fast as they should, they are finally moving up. Overall, Obama’s economy is humming along and is actually an improvement over the campaign promises from Mitt Romney in 2012.
On Friday, Steve Benen of The Maddow Blog discussed the issue repugicans will now face in attempting to criticize the economy and this administration.
As we discussed a month ago, repugican cabal lawmakers have invested enormous amounts of energy pushing a very specific case: the combination of the Affordable Care Act, federal regulations, Dodd-Frank reforms, and higher taxes approved last year are a brutal “wet blanket” on economic growth. It’s all proof, they claim, that President Obama’s economic agenda has been a disaster for the country.
And in light of the recent jobs boom and the strongest economic growth in 11 years, the Republican talking points are starting to look a little silly.
Before we move on, let’s also note, in case repugican cabal officials try to suggest there’s a connection between their election and the growth surge, the third quarter economic report points to data that ended in September – before anyone knew what the election results would be.
I’m also trying to imagine what the political world’s conversation would look like right now if we were in the second year of the Romney junta. One can only assume there would be parades organized in the repugican hero’s honor and “Mitt” would suddenly become a popular name in conservative households.
That is really the thing. We know wingnuts just cannot bear the thought of giving POTUS any credit for anything, especially when it comes to the economy. However, if this were all happening under pretender Romney, he would be lauded as a hero who brought the country from the brink of disaster. Meanwhile, while Obama is overseeing a strong economic growth and truly has brought the country from the brink of financial and economic disaster, we’ll continue to see repugican lawmakers and right-wing pundits harshly criticize him for his “terrible” handling of the economy.

The Truth Be Told


Mitch McConnell Blames Democrats For His Years Of Senate Obstruction

In what is the lie of the year, Mitch McConnell (r-KY) blamed Democrats for his years of Senate obstruction.
The New York Times reported,
mcconnell-puzzledMr. McConnell has no regrets and makes no apologies. He says it was Democrats who froze repugicans out and employed the Senate more as a political platform than a legislative one.
“It was not about legislation,” said Mr. McConnell, who easily survived a primary challenge from the right and went on to win his general election for a sixth term representing Kentucky, despite being a top target of national Democrats. “It had nothing to do with an outcome. The Senate basically didn’t do squat for years. I don’t think most members of the Senate wanted it run that way.”
Now that McConnell is in charge of the Senate, he wants the American people to believe that his campaign of obstruction never happened. McConnell’s argument also defies common sense. The Kentucky repugican was trying to claim that Democrats obstructed their own president. Senate Democrats tried to pass legislation all through the Obama years, but they were thwarted and blocked with regularity by repugicans who adopted a strategy of saying no to everything.
McConnell is sending the false impression that legislation is going to flow out of the Senate now that repugicans are in control. If much legislation isn’t passed, McConnell is setting up Democrats to take the blame. McConnell’s claim that Democrats are to blame for the lack of legislation passed in the Senate because they didn’t want to do anything is a flat out fantasy.
The truth is that repugicans lack the sixty vote majority that is required to pass the vast majority of legislation. McConnell’s record of legislative accomplishment probably won’t be much better than Harry Reid’s was. The repugican strategy hasn’t changed. They will accomplish little while pointing fingers and blaming Democrats. If McConnell’s plan is to hope that the American people have forgotten what he has done, his time as Majority Leader will be over after the 2016 election.

Obama’s War to Stop the repugican cabal From Dragging America Into Irrelevance

There is no question that at one time America was an exceptional nation, but those days of a burgeoning middle class, an infrastructure the entire world envied, and manufacturing jobs funding an economic boom are just a memory. On Friday last, President Obama rightly touted the nation’s economic resurgence since he inherited a devastated economy, and he said that the country has, at long last, a chance to “reverse the decades-long erosion of middle-class jobs and incomes;” a repugican decades-long goal.
Sadly, although the President also said he wanted to work with members of  Congress to build on the nation’s economic progress, it is likely he will be on his own. The President said, “We just have to invest in the things that we know will secure even faster growth in higher-paying jobs for more Americans. We have to make sure our economy and government work not only for a few, but for all of us. The six years since the financial crisis have demanded hard work and sacrifice on everyone’s part. But as a country, we have every right to be proud of what we’ve got to show for it.  More jobs.  More insured.  A growing economy.  Shrinking deficits.  Bustling industry.  Booming energy.” The President surely understands that repugicans will not invest in anything, much less to make the economy and government work for everyone; it is not in the Koch brother’s vision for America where economic news is only good when the rich prosper.
However, with all the good economic news, repugicans in Congress have rejected any and every attempt to rebuild the nation’s crumbling and decrepit infrastructure. The sad fact is, that if this country does not change its focus on opposing rebuilding America, it will never catch up to the rest of the world and that is the goal of repugicans serving the interests of the Koch brothers and Wall Street.
It is pathetic that as the American economy is outperforming every other nation on Earth, the nation is falling behind the rest of the world that is actively building for the future while repugicans debate and promote policies on how best to fall farther behind and become the third world country they apparently lust after. All the while, repugicans plan new and better ways to transfer more of the nation’s wealth to the richest one-percent, decimate what is left of the once-storied great middle class, and send more Americans into the ranks of the poverty-stricken. It is not that America is lacking in resources to rebuild and prosper, it is just that repugicans cannot bear to see one penny of resources or wealth going to anything, or anyone, other than corporations, Wall Street, and the Koch brothers.
President Obama has called on Congress to appropriate funding to rebuild and repair the country’s third rate (ranked 26th) infrastructure since 2009. When the President said “We just have to invest in the things that we know will secure even faster growth in higher-paying jobs for more Americans,” and “make sure our economy, and our government work not only for a few, but for all of us,” he was surely alluding to spending on infrastructure improvements only the government is capable of. Let’s face it, the uber-wealthy, Wall Street, and the Koch brothers will, and have, never put up one red cent toward rebuilding the infrastructure that they profit from, so it is left to the government to make the investment. Other nations with struggling economies are certainly investing in the future, and it is why a country like China will be the world’s economic leader unless America acts; and soon.
America’s roads and bridges are crumbling, airports are out of date, and most of the country’s seaports are becoming obsolete as a direct result of decades of neglect. Indeed, business leaders, labor unions, Democratic governors, mayors, Democrats in Congress, and the President have complained about a lack of funding for years, and called for more. But except for the President’s woefully inadequate one-time cash infusion from the stimulus program, little has changed. Earlier in the year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid noted that there are over 70,000 bridges in America engineers consider structurally deficient, but instead of acting to correct the problem, repugicans proposed hundreds-of-billions in tax cuts for the rich and corporations.
What is stunning, is that in the recently passed CRomnibus, over half of the nation’s spending was allocated for making war, not making America’s infrastructure, economy, and middle class stronger. A robust infrastructure rebuilding plan would create millions of living-wage jobs, benefit the business sector, lift millions of Americans out of poverty, and create tax revenue to wipe out the nation’s debt and deficit.
With all the wealth this country has, it is pathetic that the tunnel system between New York City and New Jersey dating from 1910 and about 4,400 meters long is so ancient and devastated from recent hurricanes that they are on the verge of being closed at any time creating “an economic catastrophe for America’s largest city.” Meanwhile, in Switzerland the world’s longest rail tunnel through the Alps is set to open and give European manufacturing a giant transportation advantage over America.
Another travesty is that repugicans have actively blocked every attempt to bring high-speed rail to several areas of the country including California, New York, and Washington.  Contrast that with a country like Italy that now has Europe’s fastest high-speed rail line that, like California’s proposed high-speed rail project, extended and enhanced rail transportation to benefit the manufacturing, shipping, and transportation sector while reducing the dependency on fossil fuels and the effects of climate change. The repugicans in Congress, particularly those representing California have pledged to stop the high-speed rail project regardless it is the largest Earth-moving project in state history and will create about a million jobs for years that includes hundreds-of-thousands of permanent well-paying jobs.
America leads the rest of the world in many areas, but extremely high child poverty rates, most guns and gun-related deaths, most prison inmates, human rights abuses, poorest middle class, and crumbling infrastructure are nothing to brag about. President Obama has, throughout his tenure in office, attempted to remedy many of those world-leading statistics only to face abject opposition from repugicans. With the amount of wealth this country generates for the rich and corporations, there is no reason America should be falling behind the rest of the world, or its once cherished middle class should be vanishing, but that is precisely what repugicans are crusading to see to fruition.
A recent editorial in an extremely wingnut, and large Central California, newspaper touted the President’s achievements over the past few months and years, and then called on him to take the next step and finally address, unilaterally, “rebuilding the middle class and wipe out the income gap between the masses and the wealthiest one percent by restricting their control of the economy they warp for their own benefit to the exclusion of all others.” They did not, however, call on repugicans to work with the President because they know full well their plea would go unheeded and likely lose them significant advertising revenue.
Obviously, the President has preached at, begged, and cajoled repugicans to pass legislation addressing the income gap and there is no better way to start than allocating major funding to rebuild the country’s infrastructure. Early in 2014, a wingnut 'economist' called on the President to propose, and pressure Congress to pass, at least $1.7 trillion to “start” rebuilding the infrastructure he readily admitted would create millions of living wage jobs, grow the nation’s economy, and recreate the middle class that was once the envy of the world. However, with a repugican Congress poised to hand the totality of the nation’s wealth to the rich instead of preparing America for the future, there is little the President can do on his own.
Elections have consequences, and the consequence of a repugican Congress is that regardless the damage to this country’s economic future, America will continue falling farther behind the rest of the world and keep declining. While the rest of the world progresses and builds future economic dominance, in America the rich get richer and repugicans will finally achieve their thirty year goal of transforming America into a third world nation.

The repugican chickenhawks And Arms Lobby Unite To Undermine US On World Stage

President Obama has been clear in his advocacy of sensible gun reform at home, as well as balanced global demilitarization …
President Obama has taken bold actions in the fourth quarter of 2014, including a shift in Cuban policy and a public condemnation of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s decision to pull controversial film The Interview. It’s been several weeks of determined administrative change and strong messaging after a disappointing midterm election, starting with a resolution to alter the country’s broken immigration laws within the limits of Executive power.
Despite the incoming threat of a 114th Congress that promises to be even less agreeable than its predecessor, it finally feels like a winning time to be a liberal. Standing on the right side of history with a leader who has nothing left to personally gain or lose lives up in some small way to the ideals of candidate Obama. By and large, it’s a happy holiday week for those of us who are tired of receiving kicked cans from the nation’s capital.
But there is much work to be done, at home and abroad, before we put real distance between ourselves and the stagnant at best, harmful at worst policies that have characterized most of this century to date. For every Dreamer who now has a legal shot at a future in America, there is climate change denial. With satisfaction over the dismissal of an outdated, counterproductive approach to Cuban relations, we must still endure an economic model built to reward the one percent at the expense of almost everyone else. And then there’s the issue that often feels most hopeless of all – guns and weapons.
President Obama has been clear in his advocacy of sensible gun reform at home, as well as balanced global demilitarization. After the heartbreaking events at Sandy Hook Elementary School two years ago, the POTUS said:
“These tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and it is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this.”
And in a June 2013 effort to reduce nuclear arms in partnership with Russia, Obama observed: “I’ve determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third.”
Shamefully, the President has been totally lacking in Congressional partners who want to make the world’s streets safer with him. A late 2012 report from the Sunlight Foundation highlighted the problem: “Just over half (51 percent) of the members of the new Congress…have received funding from the National Rifle Association’s political action committee at some point in their political careers..And 47 percent received money from the NRA in the most recent race in which they ran.”
There’s a lot that the leader of the free world can do without Capitol Hill, but he can’t ratify treaties designed to make the present and future of our planet a little more secure. Thus the BBC’s innocuous headline this week, Global Arms Trade Deal Takes Effect, masks an important detail. Around130 countries have signed the pact, but fewer than half of them have ratified it. The latter number includes the United States, which also happens to be the world’s top arms exporter.
This one ought to be a no-brainer. The treaty was written to limit the transfer of weapons to “warlords, human rights abusers, terrorists and criminal organizations.” Yet the BBC observes, “Washington signed the agreement in 2013, but now it requires approval by the Senate, where opposition is believed to be strong.” The same Senate of course, that will be controlled by the NRA-owned repugican cabal come January.
In his new strategy of basically going it alone to give the people what they need, the President has been admirably steady. There’s reason to hope for more delayed common sense action in 2015. Public and civic agitation regarding the nation’s cynical and deadly deference to the gun lobby, and its money, ought to be high on the priority list.

Lady drove into estranged husband's living room

A woman from Southington, Connecticut, is under arrest after police say she rammed her car into her estranged husband’s home on Tuesday night. Just after 9pm, police responded to a report of a verbal argument. While officers were en-route they received word that the situation was escalating, and that a car was being driven on the front lawn of the home. The car was then driven into the home. “As I was on the phone with 911, that is when she drove the car though my house,” said the homeowner.
Upon arrival, police found that the car had been driven through the front door of the house, and came to a stop in the living room. Officers interviewed the victim, the driver, and witnesses, and determined that 31-year-old Jennifer Luisi of Southington was the person that rammed the car into the house. According to police, Luisi arrived at the home and began banging on the door attempting to speak with her estranged husband. The husband refused, and dialed 911. That’s when police say Luisi returned to her car, and then drove it into the house.
Officers say that there was an active “no contact” protective order in place between Luisi and her estranged husband. Police also say they believe Luisi was under the influence of alcohol when she went to the home. “I’m really at a loss for words, at this point, it never entered my mind that a woman in her thirties would do something like this,” the husband said. Luisi was charged with criminal violation of a protective order, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, driving under the influence of alcohol, and breach of peace. She appeared in Bristol Superior Court on Wednesday and is being held on $250,000 bond.

Luisi is due back in court on Jan. 21. Dr. Garry Lapidus, the directory of the injury prevention center at Hartford hospital, says the holidays are an emotional time, a time where they see more domestic violence at Hartford Hospital. “Often times during the holidays there are reports that there is a spike in the increase of domestic violence,” said Dr. Lapidus. Whether it’s a car through the house, or punching and slapping, Dr. Lapidus, says the key to stopping this kind of violence is to recognize the signs early on in the relationship. “If your partner stalks you or harasses you, if your partner humiliates you or embarrasses you in front of others, if your partner controls your means of communication, like phone or computer, and of course there is the hitting,” said Dr. Lapidus.

Police hunt thieves who disrupted traffic as they dragged Velociraptor across road

Police are appealing after a dinosaur was made prematurely extinct in West Yorkshire. The five feet tall fiberglass model of a Velociraptor was ripped from its plinth in the beer garden of Harry's Carvery in Wyke early on Saturday.
Police became aware because the thieves caused disruption to traffic as they ran off with the model at around 7.30am. Its feet had been left attached to the plinth and later in the day, the remains of the model's head were found smashed nearby.
Earlier, a nine foot section of a 17 feet tall Velociraptor 's was also snapped off and stolen from the same location and police are now seeking witnesses.
Sergeant Garry Shelton, from the Spen and Batley Neighborhood Policing Team, said: "It's believed the same suspects were also responsible for stealing the tail of a larger 17ft Velociraptor." Anyone with information is asked to contact the police.

Man accused of slamming teenager's head in fridge door for eating all the sausages

An Ohio man is behind bars, accused of slamming a teenage relative’s head in a refrigerator door “for eating all the sausages,” police said. Robert J. Jones, 35, of Canton, was arrested on charges of felony domestic violence and endangering children, Stark County Jail records said.
The boy’s mother had called 911, telling arriving police that she walked into the kitchen and saw her husband with his arm around the boy’s neck, said Lt. James Cole of the Canton Police Department.
She told the officers that after she broke up the scuffle, Jones continued to yell at the boy “for eating all the sausages,” Cole said. The woman told police that Jones then slammed the refrigerator door, knocking out some of the food. When the boy went to clean it up, he slammed the boy’s head in the refrigerator door and then fled as she called police, Cole said the officers were told.
Canton Fire Department medics took the boy to Mercy Medical Center with what appeared to be a non-life-threatening injury, Cole said. Jones was arrested a short time later. He remains in the jail, held in lieu of $51,000 bond pending a hearing in Canton Municipal Court.

Rush for money after security van spilled wads of banknotes on to busy Hong Kong road

Hong Kong police have appealed to the public to return millions of dollars taken after a van transporting HK$525m (£44m, $68m) crashed on a major road. About HK$35m (£3m, $4.5m) worth of banknotes were left strewn across the tarmac after the road accident. Witnesses said dozens of people rushed to pocket the cash before armed police arrived to secure the area.
Some HK$20m was retrieved and police warned that failure to return the rest would be "a very serious crime". The incident happened at lunchtime on Wednesday on one of Hong Kong's busiest roads in the Wan Chai district on Hong Kong Island, causing major disruption as people abandoned their cars to collect the notes.

Individual notes were seen spread across the carriageway but witnesses also reported seeing bundles of HK$500 notes wrapped in plastic. One witness said that she saw a "regular looking Hong Kong lady" take at least 10 bundles before leaving the scene. "She had an armful of bricks of cash - it was as much as she could carry. She just disappeared into the depths of Wan Chai," the witness said.

Speaking shortly afterwards, police superintendent Wan Siu-hong called on those who had picked up any money to hand it over to police as soon as possible. "If he or she keeps the money for [their] own use, [they] may commit an offense of theft which is a very serious crime under ordinance," he said. He said police had launched an inquiry into the cause of the accident, adding that they "cannot rule out any possibilities at this moment".

15 bodies saved from crematorium fire

Fifteen deceased bodies remain unscathed after an early morning fire at the Innisvale Cemetery and Crematorium in Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday. Fifty Innisfil and Essa Township firefighters were called to the scene at around 6am. The main fire took about two hours to contain, but once the roof collapsed, it took another four hours to put out a number of small fires concealed underneath it.
“It was quickly a defensive attack,” said Innisfil Fire Chief John Pegg over the phone. “The flames were through the roof almost immediately, so we had to pour water from the outside of the building. We never did make entry into the building itself. It’s a total loss.” Innisfil fire is estimating about $2 million in damages.
Pegg said there were 15 “previously deceased individuals” awaiting cremation within the building, but none were damaged. “Trying to protect their bodies for the families became our priority and it was actually successful,” said Pegg. “We were able to maintain the integrity of all the bodies.”
The bodies have been removed from the facility and are being transported to neighbouring funeral homes. South Simcoe police confirm there were no injuries to staff or firefighters. Police are maintaining the scene while the Ontario Fire Marshal investigates. However, Pegg says it will probably take a few days to determine the cause of the fire.
There's a news video here.

Where Do Recycled Electronics Go?

Starting in 2015, the 20 million residents of New York State will be forbidden to throw away electronics. The statewide ban requires residents to dispose of their unwanted TVs, printers and MP3 players at designated stores and drop-off locations to be recycled, or pay a $100 fine if these items are left curbside for sanitation workers.
To some, dragging their huge, non-functional TV down the snowy New York City streets may sound like a hassle. But to others, it means that a little less of the millions of tons of e-waste thrown away each year doesn't end up in landfills, where they are notorious contributors of toxic waste. So what happens to electronics when they're recycled?

Cars Have Faces and That's No Accident

If you treat your car a bit like a person and admire its aggressive, cool or cute face, you're not crazy. Thanks to a phenomenon known as pareidolia, we see faces in our cars, which pleases car companies to no end.

Copenhagen's Bicycle Snake

)I've love to visit Denmark someday. I've heard that it's a beautiful country and that its capital, Copenhagen, is the crown jewel of Europe. Photos of architectural marvels like this one certainly encourage my ambition. This is the Cykelslagen--the Bicycle Snake. It's a 257 yard long bridge for bike riders that connects Islands Brygge and Vestbro, two neighborhoods in the city. The architecture firm Dissing+Weitling designed the Cykeslagen, which opened for traffic this year.

Look at This Bizarre Ice Formation

They look like ice shelves, but that's not what's happening in this photo. A wire fence stretches along the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland, UK. The wind blew straight at the fence from the right. Ice particles gradually built up along the wire. A spokesman for the Met Office, which is the UK's weather bureau, explained to the BBC:
There has to be a strong wind, temperatures have to be between plus one Celsius and minus one Celsius and there has to be plenty of moisture. This can either be from water vapour in the air, from snowfall or from freezing rain. The wind blows the moisture over the object, in this case the fence, and it freezes, building up a thick layer of ice on the windward side. This means that the wind was actually blowing from the right to the left of the photo.

Surface Melt Adds to Ice Loss

It's not only glaciers that are sending water rushing into the sea; surface sea ice is contributing more and more meltwater.

How One NASA Satellite Has Changed How We See Earth In The 21st Century

In December 1999, NASA launched Terra, the flagship satellite of the Earth Observing System, outfitted with a whole rig of sophisticated instruments for collecting data on our planet.
Terra was meant to last six years when launched. A decade and a half later, it's still alive and kicking. In 15 years, the Earth Observing System has collected some amazing data, enabling some fascinating images and visualizations of the Earth - and how humans impact it.

Color Vision Is 300 Million Years Old

Fossilized rod and cone cells — the kinds that help people see — have been discovered for the first time.

Wonky donkey walking again thanks to human prosthetic leg

An abandoned donkey missing one of his feet is walking again thanks to a human prosthetic leg donated from the UK. Hector the donkey was dumped outside an animal welfare center in Luxor, Egypt, and had not walked for four months. His new foot was made using spare parts of a prosthetic leg donated to Legs4Africa, a Leicestershire-based charity.
It usually donates prosthetics to human amputees in Africa, but Hector is the first animal to be helped. Tom Williams, the charity's founder, said it was "fantastic to see Hector walking for Christmas". A donkey in Hector's condition would usually be left to die, or killed humanely. However, Hector appeared to be happy despite being lame, so Animal Welfare of Luxor (AWOL) decided to help him.
Georgie Hollis, a wound specialist with a background in biomechanics, built the new foot after AWOL contacted equine medicine expert Prof Derek Knottenbelt OBE. "He's a friend of mine and he's a bit of a legend really, or a leg-end," said Miss Hollis. "He sent me an email saying 'Georgie, we must be able to do something for this donkey'." Miss Hollis suspects Hector lost his foot after being tethered by his leg, cutting off the circulation.
"We are trying to save him from being a wonky donkey, which would be the end of it for him really," said Miss Hollis. "Hector is just one of a lot of donkeys that need lots of help. There are more donkeys used around the world for transport than there are cars." AWOL fitted the new foot, but Miss Hollis will visit Hector herself in a month or so to fit him with a permanent foot. "I will cast his leg and make him one that's more permanent, breathable, lightweight and sporty," she said.

Dog survived 15-storey fall into hot tub

A 13-year old Boston Terrier in Sacramento, Caliifornia, is recovering after falling off a 15th floor balcony, straight into a hot tub on Monday.
The dog's owner, Bill McCourt, was in tears when he recalled the accident: "You just can't imagine a dog going through that kind of trauma. He actually got on to the next balcony and tried to work his way back he has a bit of an eyesight issue," McCourt said.

When that eyesight failed him, there was nowhere to go but down. McCourt said what happened next is a miracle: "Just a little bit to the east of this balcony is a pool and a hot tub and the dog actually went directly into the hot tub.

"He hit the hot tub instinctively started swimming found the stairs and pulled himself out." Sammy is suffering from a cracked pelvis and broken ribs, and is recovering at an animal hospital. Even after falling from one of the tallest buildings in Sacramento, Bill McCourt said Sammy is doing well. "I've actually seen him stand up and walk. It's just amazing."

Puppy cam foiled burglary-in-progress

A 22-year-old burglary suspect in Tempe, Arizona, was arrested after a woman monitoring her home on an iPhone app caught him in action. The homeowner, Mia Nguyen, said she uses the remote app to keep an eye on her two dogs but last Friday morning something else caught her eye – an intruder.
Ms Nguyen immediately called Tempe Police Department dispatchers and began providing a “play by play” of the man’s movements using her puppy cam. At one point, Ms Nguyen said she saw the suspect feeding dog treats to her dogs in an attempt make friends.
Tempe Police patrol officers flooded the area and formed a secure perimeter around the home. The suspect, later identified as Aaron C. White, eventually saw the camera inside the home and tried to get away. He fled out the back gate to the alley, where he was greeted by numerous police officers.

At the time of his arrest, police said he was still wearing the gloves he used in an effort not to leave fingerprints inside the residence. The two dogs inside the home were found unharmed but well fed. White was booked into the Tempe City Jail on one count of second-degree burglary.

Looks Like Falling Leaf

Nature has perfectly outfitted Bornean gliding lizards with colors matching falling leaves in their different environments. 

There Really ARE Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is a key player on Santa's sleigh team -- we all know that's a fact. Less known, however, is that back in real life there really IS a species of reindeer with a red nose. Trace has the details. 

Animal Pictures