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Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts, yeah, we know you don't understand - it's Science  ...!
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Today In History

1719   Philip V of Spain declares war on France.  
1776   Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense, a scathing attack on King George III's reign over the colonies and a call for complete independence.  
1792   The Ottomans sign a treaty with the Russians ending a five year war.
1793   Jean Pierre Blanchard makes the first balloon flight in North America.
1861   Southern shellfire stops the Union supply ship Star of the West from entering Charleston Harbor on her way to Fort Sumter.  
1861   Mississippi secedes from the Union.  
1908   Count Zeppelin announces plans for his airship to carry 100 passengers.  
1909   A Polar exploration team lead by Ernest Shackleton reaches 88 degrees, 23 minutes south longitude, 162 degrees east latitude. They are 97 nautical miles short of the South Pole, but the weather is too severe to continue.  
1912   Colonel Theodore Roosevelt announces that he will run for president if asked.  
1915   Pancho Villa signs a treaty with the United States, halting border conflicts.  
1924   Ford Motor Co. stock is valued at nearly $1 billion.
1943   Soviet planes drop leaflets on the surrounded Germans in Stalingrad requesting their surrender with humane terms. The Germans refuse.  
1945   U.S. troops land on Luzon, in the Philippines, 107 miles from Manila.  
1947   French General Leclerc breaks off all talks with Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh.  
1952   Jackie Robinson becomes the highest paid player in Brooklyn Dodger history.  
1964   U.S. forces kill six Panamanian students protesting in the canal zone.  
1974   Cambodian Government troops open a drive to avert insurgent attack on Phnom Penh.  
1992   The Assembly of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaims the creation of a new state within Yugoslavia, the Rupublika Srpska.  
1996   A raid by Chechen separatists in the city of Kizlyar turns into a hostage crisis involving thousands of civilians.  
2005   Mahmoud Abbas wins election to replace Yasser Arafat as President of the Palestinian National Authority.  
2005   The Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end the Second Sudanese Civil War is signed by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.  
2007   Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, unveils the first iPhone.

2014 Is Hottest Year on Record

The globe's hottest year is confirmed by the Japanese Meteorological Agency.

Amazing Snow and Ice Sculptures from China

Every year, the chilly Chinese city of Harbin hosts the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. And every year, they just keep getting bigger and better. I'm especially impressed with this train made of solid blocks of ice. I wonder how the artists made the smoke.
The Atlantic has a roundup of 26 photos of these spectacular sculptures. They include impressive pictures showing the sculptures lit up at night.

House repugicans Meltdown As John Boehner Gets Revenge On Those Who Voted Against Him

It took House repugicans less than a day to meltdown, as America’s most dysfunctional political disgrace has collapsed under weight of their own fighting after John Boehner is seeking revenge on those who voted against him to be Speaker of the House.
The rebellion against Boehner grew overnight, and an election, which the repugican leader thought he had in the bag, became a close contest. Boehner could afford to lose the votes of 29 repugicans, but a higher than expected 25 repugicans voted against him. The twenty-five repugicans who voted against Boehner were Justin Amash (MI), Brian Babin (TX), Rod Blum (IA), Dave Brat (VA), Jim Bridenstine (OK), Curt Clawson (FL), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Jeff Duncan (SC), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Chris Gibson (NY), Scott Garrett (NJ), Tim Huelskamp (KS), Walter Jones (NC), Steve King (IA), Thomas Massie (KY), Mark Meadows (NC), Rich Nugent (FL), Gary Palmer (AL), Bill Posey (FL), Scott Rigell (VA), Marlin Stutzman (IN), Randy Weber (TX), Daniel Webster (FL) and Ted Yoho (FL).
Boehner didn’t waste time getting revenge on those who tried to throw him out of the speakership. Politico reported, “After he secured his third term as speaker Tuesday afternoon, losing 25 votes on the House floor to some relative-unknown members of the House repugican coven, Boehner moved swiftly to boot Florida's Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent from the influential Rules Committee. The reason was simple: Webster ran against Boehner for speaker, distributing fliers outlining his candidacy and talking about how he would better adhere to the House rules than the Ohio repugican.”
Boehner’s allies are suggesting that this was only the beginning of the revenge campaign that repugican leaders have planned for those who tried to oust Boehner.
All of the talk of a more unified group of House repugicans that was circulating right after the elections in November quickly evaporated after the Speaker of the House vote. Deep divides remain within in the repugican circus, and the record number of defections from Boehner could be the first sign that the House repugican circus will spend the next two years teetering on the brink of collapse.
The big takeaway from the first day of the 114th Congress is how little things have changed. This group of fractured and divided repugicans stands no chance against an increasingly popular and powerful president who has the economic winds at his back and a Democratic congressional minority at his side.
The repugicans wanted this congressional majority, and it took them less than a day to show the American people why giving it to them may turn out to be an error that they will regret.

State Bar Complaint Filed Against McCulloch Over Ferguson Grand Jury

He’s Having A Really Bad Day
by Debi Johnson-Champ 
 St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch’s mishandling of the Michael Brown grand jury has not only resulted in a federal action, but a formal complaint to the Missouri State Bar for ethical violations committed by McCulloch and his minions.
Coming on the heels of the federal action filed by the ACLU of Missouri to lift the life-time gag order imposed on grand jurors, an eleven page complaint was filed with the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel claiming that McCulloch, as well as Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Kathi Alizadeh and Sheila Whirley violated some 15 different Rules of Professional Conduct by:
1. Presenting the grand jury with a legal instruction ruled unconstitutional for decades.
2. Mislabeling and misplacing evidence related to key witness Dorian Johnson.
3. Failing to provide specific charges to the jury after ‘dumping’ on them thousands of pages of interviews and evidence the complainants cite as going above gross negligence.
The complaint was filed by Ethics Project founder Christi Griffin, other attorneys and a former judge, following their review of the grand jury transcript, witness interviews and other evidence.
Photo courtesy of globalnews.ca 
The Chief Disciplinary Counsel is required to investigate the allegations filed against McCulloch, Alizadeh and Whirley, and if there is sufficient evidence to support the charges, to prosecute any and all ethical misconduct that impairs the integrity of the profession or threatens the public at large.
Griffin believes that the prosecutors permitted perjured testimony to be placed before the grand jurors.
McCulloch has already stated:
“I thought it was much more important to present anybody and everybody, and some, yes, clearly were not telling the truth, no question about it.”
But according to Griffin:
“He is the one that is allowing that perjured testimony to be presented to the grand jury and that is a direct violation of the Code of Professional Ethics.”
While he has been under a firestorm of criticism, McCulloch has no regrets. McCulloch is on record that:
“Overall, I don’t see a whole lot that we would have done differently. . . . I did what I thought was right under the circumstances in presenting everything to the grand jury. So I assumed everything would be gone through with a fine tooth comb and analyzed and criticized as it has been — sometimes without looking at the facts, but that’s how some people operate.”
Bar complaints are not typically resolved overnight. McCulloch has not been personally served as of yet with either the federal lawsuit (brought by the juror) or the state bar complaint.
However, in deciding whether to discipline McCulloch, the Missouri State Bar must go over McCulloch’s actions with the “same fine tooth comb” that McCulloch claimed to have used in his search for truth and justice.

"No civilization would tolerate what America has done"

by David Masciotra
Institutional racism. Rampant income inequality. A broken justice system. 
America may never be a great society.
It seems police can get away with anything: choking men who have surrendered; shooting unarmed teens; knocking pregnant women to the ground. While the issues involving race, civil rights and the relationship between law enforcement and communities are essential for examination and correction, few are talking about how all of this fits into the larger pattern of America's cultural decline and decay. America has become a society addicted to violence and indifferent to the suffering of people without power. Whenever there is a combination of a culture of violence and an ethic of heartlessness, fatal abuse of authority will escalate, and the legal system will fail to address it.
Critics are right to condemn the criminal justice system for its embedded inequities and injustices, but they are hesitant to condemn the actual jurors giving killer cops get-out-of-jail-free cards. These jurors are representational of America: ignorant and cold. They hear testimony from eyewitnesses claiming Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown while he had his hands in the air, and set Wilson free without trial. They listen to reports of three officers choking Robert Saylor, an unarmed man with Down syndrome who wanted to see a movie without a ticket, and they send the police back to work. They watch video footage of police choking Eric Garner in New York, and of two police officers brutally beating Keyarika Diggles, a woman in Texas, and they decline to make them pay for it.
Have they been programmed into cruelty and apathy by American schools, churches, families, politics, and pop culture?
There are practical demands that the sane minority of Americans can make as they march the streets of Ferguson, New York and Chicago. Body cameras on police officers is a technological aid to the people who live under military occupation from the blue army. Tougher requirements for entering the police force, and better training methods for those in the academy are essential, as is a sweeping and radical review, best led by the White House, of a racist and predatory criminal justice system.

How Non-employed Americans Spend Their Weekdays

Here you see what 294 adults between the ages of 25 and 54 who aren’t holding down a job are doing with their time, according to data from the American Time Use Survey. The chart is interactive at the site. It’s no surprise that women without outside jobs spend a bigger chunk of their time doing housework or caring for others, while men spend more time looking for a job than women do, as it comes down to the different reasons that people are non-employed. Women are likely to do without a job in order to care for young children or elderly relatives, while men are more likely to be either training or looking for another job.
A data visualization article at the New York Times divides the participants by what individuals spend the most of their daytime hours doing, which sometimes points to the reason they aren’t on the time clock; for example, those who spend more time on education than anything else are probably in school. What’s astonishing is the gender imbalance for the number of people who spend their greatest time watching TV or other leisure activities.

Man to face court over driving unlicensed, unregistered motorized esky

A man from Adelaide, Australia, spotted riding a motorized Esky has been reported for driving without a license, police say. An officer saw the Esky being driven through a shopping center car park on Monday at 6:45pm.
The officer spoke to the driver and warned him the Esky could not be legally driven on roads, but the man was seen a short time later driving the Esky in Para Hills.
Police said the Esky was a novelty import and could not be legally registered in South Australia or driven on roads. The Esky was impounded and the man was reported for driving unlicensed, and driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle. He will appear in court at a later date.
"Police would like to remind the public that these novelty motor vehicles which includes the likes of pit bikes, motorized eskies and the likes cannot be registered and therefore cannot be legally driven or ridden on the road," Senior Sergeant Nils Uellendahl said. "They are for private property novelty use only and can be a danger to the drivers and other road users."

Puddle-soaked pedestrians no laughing matter as police reveal incident numbers

Scores of sopping-wet pedestrians have complained to police after being splashed when motorists drove through puddles, figures show. Police forces across England and Wales show upset walkers contacted officers accusing drivers of swerving deliberately into standing water. Some said they were deliberately targeted, while others said police officers were among the perpetrators. Several motorists were tracked down and given driving advice, while a handful of others could not be traced. Splashing falls under section three of the Road Traffic Act 1988, and can often be punished through a fixed penalty notice. Details of those investigated for splashing were released by police forces under the Freedom of Information Act.
They showed there were 63 reported incidents of motorists driving through a puddle and causing pedestrians to be splashed during a five-year period from January 2009, according to the six police forces with details on splashing. South Wales police said there were 38 cases of splashing reported, with victims as young as 10. One complainant said a bus driver accelerated to soak pedestrians, while a police officer was forced to apologize after driving a 4x4 through standing water. The force said a van driver was handed a ticket for a public order offense after driving “back and forth through a large puddle to intentionally splash pedestrians”, while another was spoken to by officers after deliberately driving through a puddle to splash a walker before laughing with a passenger. Two motorists found themselves on the receiving end when they were involved in altercations after being accused of splashing.
According to North Wales police, one motorist in Wrexham was injured during an argument, while another in Rhyl was challenged over their driving some days earlier. Both matters were reported to officers in 2012. A group of pedestrians contacted Cumbrian police in November 2012 after they were deliberately soaked by a car in Cockermouth. Police said the driver was given advice, and was one of nine incidents reported to the force. One unlucky resident of the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, said they were soaked “at least five times” by drivers speeding through puddles in Rissington Road. Another complained that a police officer “swerved into a puddle on purpose” to soak him. And one concerned witness reported how a “young male driver was swerving all along” The Knapp in Stroud, “driving into puddles on purpose to splash school children walking home”.
It was one of 11 incidents reported to police, while two incidents were reported to Avon and Somerset police, and one was mentioned to Kent. Mike Frisby, the Driving Instructors Association chief examiner, said: “Motorists have a duty of care not to splash pedestrians. Normally the maximum penalty would be to get somebody’s clothes dry cleaned – it’s not imprisonable – but splashing can be easily avoided. It’s probably not widely known by pedestrians that they can report incidents if they’re splashed, but we don’t really want to engage in a culture where people are going to report every little incident. The driver has an obligation to plan well, as there is always a danger when driving through a puddle because even in shallow water drivers won’t know what lurks beneath.” A spokesman for campaigners Pedestrian Liberation said: “We frequently hear stories from pedestrians who have been splashed, from pedestrians who have to take avoiding action so as not be splashed, and also of councils that show precious little interest in sorting out the dips in the road and blocked drains that are the source of the puddles in the first place.”

Taxi Driver Breaks Transmission, Drives in Reverse ... For 11 Years

Harpeet Devi of Bhathinda, Punjab, India is a cab driver. In 2003, his taxi broke down and he could drive only in reverse. He made it back home in that condition, but couldn't afford to fix it. He tells Barcroft Media that he kept driving anyway. Devi had to acquire special permission from the state government, but he remains in business.
In fact, he's remodeled his service to exploit his local fame. Devi's taxi is decorated to reflect its uniqueness. To make it safer to drive, it has headlights on the rear and plays an ambulance siren.

Benedict Cumberbatch Conquers the World

British actor Benedict Cumberbatch is everywhere. He's in Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit, 12 Years a Slave, and The Imitation Game, among numerous other roles. He's even in you! Are you ever alone in a room, then suddenly feel like you're being watched? That's Benedict Cumberbatch. Even in the sanctity of your own mind and thoughts, the terrifyingly handsome and omnipresent Benedict is there.

This is What a $974 Million Personal Check Looks Like

What's the largest check you've ever received? We betcha it wasn't $974,790,317.77 - yep, nine hundred seventy four million seven hundred ninety thousand three hundred seventeen and, don't forget, 77 cents. It took two lines to write out the sum - as you can see.
That's the check that Oklahoma oil magnate Harold Hamm wrote to his ex-wife Sue Ann Arnall, who promptly rejected her $1 billion dollar divorce settlement because it was "not fair." Arnall claimed that Hamm is worth an estimated $18 billion; Hamm countered that his net worth had taken significant beatings in the recent sharp fall in oil prices.
Well, while the rich people duke it out in divorce court, feast your eyes on what is probably the largest hand-written personal check you'll ever see in your lifetime.

The Art Of Making People Go Away

You probably don't think much about 'Do Not Disturb' signs at hotels, unless the maid rudely barges in as you sleep. When you look through Edoardo Flores' collection of just over 8,700 Do Not Disturb signs from 190 countries around the world, you'll find they can be quite beautiful and revelatory.
So-called 'DND signs' tell you a lot about the character and mores of the places you find them. Collectors Weekly talked to Edoardo Flores about his collection, revealing tidbits like which countries have cheap artisanal labor, which cities are lax about prostitution, and even which countries value sarcasm the most.

1950s: Baby Teeth Collected for Nuclear Research

When humans began detonating nuclear weapons in the 1940s, they unleashed substances that had never before existed. What impacts would they have on public health? There were plenty of guesses, but no one knew for sure.
One way to learn more would be to examine the baby teeth of children. Atomic testing resumed in the United States in 1951. Children normally shed their incisors at the age of 7. So if scientists studied baby teeth dropped in 1958, they might be able to trace the presence of radioactive substances. Thus began the St. Louis Baby Tooth Survey--a scientific study of radiation in baby teeth in the area of St. Louis, Missouri. Caroline Jack and Stephanie Steinhardt write for The Appendix:
Near-term prenatal incisor teeth (in other words, children’s front baby teeth or “milk teeth”) took up high levels of radioisotopes during their formation, yet renewed their cells at a far slower rate than bone. Therefore, baby teeth could provide a stable snapshot of radiation absorbed by human bodies in a given geographic area around the time of a child’s birth. Since children tend to shed incisor teeth around the age of seven, teeth being shed in 1958 would reflect the levels of environmental radiation absorbed by unborn children around 1951.
The Greater St. Louis Citizens’ Committee for Nuclear Information (CNI), a local organization of scientists and laypeople, executed the project. They conducted a massive publicity campaign that led to the collection of over 250,000 baby teeth from children in the St. Louis area. CNI organized and cataloged the teeth, then sent them to a laboratory for analysis. The result was a thoughtful study on the health impacts of nuclear testing.
The project encouraged children to donate their teeth for science. Local dentists advocated for the project to children and their parents. Children who contributed received a free button that they could wear as a badge. The response of area children was generous. They often mailed in their teeth addressed to the Tooth Fairy and with accompanying letters addressed "Dear Scientist" or "Dear Science." Some more profit-minded children, such as the one who wrote the letter above, tried to bill CNI for their teeth.

Atlantis' Legendary Metal Found

Divers find nearly 40 metal ingots from a shipwreck off the coast of Sicily that was lost in the sixth century. 

Easter After Europeans

Obsidian tools tell a different story than the theory that the Rapa Nui civilization collapsed all at once amid mass starvation.


The Story Of Franz Taaibosch
In the heyday of the American freak show, some exhibitors tried to pass off certain acts as 'educational,' because the people exhibited were from exotic, far-off lands. The educational content was virtually nil, however, as those exhibited were rarely what they were promoted as being. Such is the story of the man known as Clico, the Wild Dancing Bushman.
The story went that Clico was chasing an ostrich through the Kalahari Desert when he injured his leg. Captain Paddy Hepston came to his rescue and nursed him back to health, 'tamed' him by whipping him every day for six months, and then took him to Europe and made him a star. The truth was a little less dramatic, and a lot more believable.

Blue-eyed humans have a single, common ancestor

Variation in the color of the eyes from brown to green can all be explained by the amount of melanin in the iris, but blue-eyed individuals only have a small degree of variation in the amount of melanin in their eyes.
New research shows that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. A team at the University of Copenhagen have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye color of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today.
What is the genetic mutation
"Originally, we all had brown eyes," said Professor Hans Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. "But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a "switch," which literally "turned off" the ability to produce brown eyes." The OCA2 gene codes for the so-called P protein, which is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to our hair, eyes and skin. The "switch," which is located in the gene adjacent to OCA2 does not, however, turn off the gene entirely, but rather limits its action to reducing the production of melanin in the iris -- effectively "diluting" brown eyes to blue. The switch's effect on OCA2 is very specific therefore. If the OCA2 gene had been completely destroyed or turned off, human beings would be without melanin in their hair, eyes or skin color -- a condition known as albinism.
Limited genetic variation
Variation in the color of the eyes from brown to green can all be explained by the amount of melanin in the iris, but blue-eyed individuals only have a small degree of variation in the amount of melanin in their eyes. "From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor," says Professor Eiberg. "They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA." Brown-eyed individuals, by contrast, have considerable individual variation in the area of their DNA that controls melanin production.
Professor Eiberg and his team examined mitochondrial DNA and compared the eye color of blue-eyed individuals in countries as diverse as Jordan, Denmark and Turkey. His findings are the latest in a decade of genetic research, which began in 1996, when Professor Eiberg first implicated the OCA2 gene as being responsible for eye color.
Nature shuffles our genes
The mutation of brown eyes to blue represents neither a positive nor a negative mutation. It is one of several mutations such as hair color, baldness, freckles and beauty spots, which neither increases nor reduces a human's chance of survival. As Professor Eiberg says, "it simply shows that nature is constantly shuffling the human genome, creating a genetic cocktail of human chromosomes and trying out different changes as it does so."

Mysterious plant resembling severed finger found on beach baffles police

A man from Darwin in Australia's Northern Territory thought he had made a grisly find when he came across what appeared to be a severed human finger on a beach, but it turned out to be a mysterious plant instead. The man was walking his dog along the beach at Lee Point, north of Darwin, when the animal took an interest in the object.
The man feared he had discovered the remains of a murder victim and quickly called police. Watch Commander Brendan Lindner said officers were initially unsure about what the man had found. "They played it safe and treated it as though it were human remains," he said. The finger was sent for forensic examination, but preliminary testing proved inconclusive and it was sent to pathology for analysis.
"In the meantime, the photo did the rounds amongst Casuarina Police Station officers attached to Patrol Group 5 (PG5), with officers evenly split during debate at the end of shift as to whether the finger was real or not," Watch Commander Lindner said. Those who argued it was fake won the day, with the pathologist determining the finger was actually plant material. Police have now been left wondering what the doppelganger digit really is.
"None of us on PG5 are botanists or marine biologists, so the best we can come up with is Alcyonium digitatum, otherwise known as 'dead man's fingers'," Watch Commander Lindner said. That species is a type of coral, but according to the World Register of Marine Species it is only found in the northern hemisphere. For now no-one is sure what the plant is, but Watch Commander Lindner said the investigation was now finalised and the suspicious pinky would be disposed of.

Revisiting An Icon

'Pillars of Creation' is a photograph taken by the Hubble Telescope of elephant trunks of interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula, some 7,000 light years from Earth. They are so named because the gas and dust are in the process of creating new stars, while also being eroded by the light from nearby stars that have recently formed.
In 1995 Hubble's iconic image revealed never-before-seen details in the giant columns and now the telescope is kickstarting its 25th year in orbit with an even clearer, and more stunning, image of the Pillars of Creation.

Black Widow Spider Venom

Black widow spiders have rapidly evolved super lethal venom, such that the spiders are now building stronger webs to handle ever-bigger prey.

Hope for Endangered Pod

The whale's birth is encouraging news for the pod, which lost a pregnant female earlier in December. 

Ants and Invasive Plants

European fire ants, which already are harassing people and pets with their nasty stings, may also be helping to destroy ecosystems as well. 

Pacific Coast Bird Die-Off

An estimated tens of thousands of Cassin's auklets have washed ashore since last fall. 

Bears in icier regions

A new study examines how the genetic diversity and structure of the worldwide polar bear population have changed amid a decline in sea-ice habitat. 

Dog abandoned at railway station with his belongings in a suitcase

The Scottish SPCA is attempting to trace the owner of a dog that was abandoned at a railway station with its belongings in a suitcase. The male Shar-Pei crossbreed was discovered tied to a railing outside Ayr station on 2 January. The suitcase included the dog's pillow, toy, food bowl and food. The charity traced a previous owner through the dog's microchip but were told it was sold in 2013 to someone they did not have details for. Inspector Stewart Taylor said: "The dog is micro-chipped and we were able to find out his name is Kai. We contacted the owner registered to the microchip, who stated they had sold Kai on Gumtree in 2013.
"Unfortunately they could not tell us the address of the person who bought him." Insp Taylor said the case highlighted the potential consequences of selling an animal online. He said buyers often included people acting on impulse who knew very little about animals. He added: "Regardless of the fact Kai was left with his belongings, this was still a cruel incident and we are keen to identify the person responsible.
"If anyone can help we would ask them to get in touch as soon as possible. Kai is around two to three years old and is a lovely dog with a nice nature. We will look after him until we can find him a permanent and loving home." The charity reminded pet owners that abandoning an animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Reptile store owner accused of hitting employees with bearded dragon

Benjamin Siegel, owner of Ben Siegel Reptiles Inc. located in Deerfield Beach, Florida, is accused of abusing a bearded dragon in multiple ways on January 2nd. According to the arrest form, 40-year-old Siegel first put the bearded dragon in his mouth.
Witnesses said Siegel proceeded to toss the reptile up into the air and swing it around several times. Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies said Siegel also hit people inside the store with the pet, before squirting them with Gatorade. Siegel appeared in court on Monday where he was held on $4,500 bond.
He is facing two charges of touch or strike battery and one count of causing cruel death, pain and suffering to an animal. Authorities did not say if the animal died. 40-year-old Siegel has made headlines before. In 2012, a 32-year-old man died after a roach eating contesting at his store.

The winner was to receive an expensive python, but instead Edward Archbold died. Siegel has three other battery charges since October and also a possession of cocaine charge from Christmas Day, according to the Broward Clerk of Courts. He was arrested at the store on Friday.

Lycra suits are designed to give racing camels the edge

A company has unveiled a dashing new sportswear line for racing camels, designed to make them train better and recover faster. The fetching lycra-style outfits have been introduced by Al Shibla Middle East. The company, based in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, say they believe the range will catch on in the highly-competitive world of camel racing.
“The full body suit can help racing camels run faster, while the cream of the species entered into camel beauty contests will have the ability to stand taller after using the suit,” the firm says. Anne Wolter, a partner at the firm and also head of research, said her company has already received interest from representatives of major stables.
Camel breeder Sultan Al Ketbi, 34, who is already using the suits, said: “In such a competitive sport it can give you the edge you need.” Al Shibla chairwoman Birgit Maria Kemphues said stables from across the GCC have been impressed and are already sitting down with the firm to arrange orders.

She said: “The suits help to activate blood flow and thus improve performance.” The outfits are primarily designed for wearing during transport – when camels typically lose a lot of weight due to stress hormones working overtime. Some stables intend to use them in training too. And while at present customs dictate that the animals do not race in any outfit, Al Shibla said that may soon change.

Animal Pictures