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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.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts, yeah, we're talking about you ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
A True Gentleman ... !
Today is  -  Robert E. Lee Day

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Today in History

1523   In Switzerland, Ulrich Zwingli publishes his 67 Articles, the first manifesto of the Zurich Reformation which denies the authority of the pope.
1783   William Pitt becomes the youngest Prime Minister of England at age 24.
1847   New Mexico Governor Charles Bent is slain by Pueblo Indians in Taos.  
1861   Georgia secedes from the Union.  
1902   The magazine "L'Auto" announces the new Tour de France.  
1915   The first German air raids on Great Britain inflict minor casualties.
1923   The French announce the invention of a new gun that has a firing range of 56 miles.  
1931   The Wickersham Committee issues a report asking for revisions in the dry law, but no repeal.  
1937   Howard Hughes flies from Los Angeles to New York in seven hours and 22 minutes.
1937   In the Soviet Union, the People's Commissars Council is formed under Molotov.  
1945   The Red Army captures Lodz, Krakow, and Tarnow.
1947   The French open a drive on Hue, Indochina.  
1949   The Chiang Government moves the capital of China to Canton.  
1950   Communist Chinese leader Mao recognizes the Republic of Vietnam.  
1968   Cambodia charges that the United States and South Vietnam have crossed the border and killed three Cambodians.  
1981   The United States and Iran sign an accord on a hostage release in Algiers.  
1983   The new catholic code expands women's rights in the cult.

Celtic Lore: the tales that might have inspired Star Wars and Harry Potter

#4 of 5
Shape-shifting Lovers: Oenghus and Caer
Oenghus mac Oc was an Irish god of youth. He was the son of two deities: the Daghdha and Boann, goddess of the river Boyne. But Boann was married already when she became pregnant with Oenghus, and so they enchanted the sun so that it neither rose nor set for nine months, until the baby was born. Thus Oenghus was conceived and born on the same day, and the illicit lovers managed to conceal their union from Boann’s husband Nechtan.
Given the circumstances surrounding his birth, it is not surprising that Oenghus became the patron god of star-crossed lovers. Indeed, he had his own love story: one night, he had a dream in which he saw a wonderfully beautiful girl and fell in love with her. When he woke, his passion was undimmed and he set out to discover who she was and how to find her.
Eventually Oenghus tracked her down to a lake where the girl lived with a bevy of other young women. Her name was Caer Ibormeith (‘Yew-Berry’). But Caer and her companions were under an enchantment. Every alternate year, at the Festival of Samhain on 1 November (the Celtic New Year), the girls were transformed into swans. Oenghus asked Caer’s father for her hand in marriage, but he refused.
Realising that the only way to win her was to wait until she was in swan-form, he went to the lake at Samhain and called her. When she came, he turned himself into a swan and both birds flew away, circling the lake three times and singing a spell as they flew, so that everyone below fell asleep and they could not be pursued. The lovers took up residence at Oenghus’ palace at Brugh na B√≥inne and, it is to be hoped, lived happily ever after.

So the NYPD stopped working and nobody noticed

A funny thing happened here in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Apparently this was supposed to be ground zero of the NYPD work stoppage. No arrests. No tickets. No nothing. Just police bunkered in behind the walls of the 79th and 81st Precincts, both of which now have armed SWAT types guarding the gates from imminent invasion.So the funny thing is life has gone on pretty much normally. Nothing much is going on. Streets are quiet.  All hell has not broken loose. Folks are going about their days normally. If policing has stopped, nobody seems to be noticing. We're told all 911 calls are being responded to and handled normally, it's just the police aren't actively pushing folks around.
Which brings us to a rather enlightening discovery: perhaps the NYPD could continue this style of policing with a lot less resources and manpower! Why have a bunch of bums sitting around doing nothing on the taxpayer's dime? Especially when crime is still under control and falling. Especially when the work stoppage has had no effect on the community whatsoever, except perhaps making everyone, including the NYPD, relax.
Mayor de Blasio should applaud the NYPD for demonstrating how much they need a lot less people to keep crime low and preserve order. Then, start laying people off and giving the slimmed-down remaining force a well-deserved raise.
Way to go, NYPD!

4 ways privatization is ruining our education system

Its most deleterious effect: The proliferation of charter schools means under-performing children get left behind 
Profit-seeking in the banking and health care industries has victimized Americans. Now it's beginning to happen in education, with our children as the products.
There are good reasons - powerful reasons - to stop the privatization efforts before the winner-take-all free market creates a new vehicle for inequality. At the very least we need the good sense to slow it down while we examine the evidence about charters and vouchers.
1. Charter Schools Have Not Improved Education
2. The Profit Motive Perverts the Goals of Education
3. Advanced Profit-Making: Higher Education
4. Lower-Performing Children Left Behind

The Truth Be Told


Carrying Ancient Viruses

Ready for this? Our DNA contains more than 100,000 pieces of virus DNA. They might even be responsible for our super-charged homo sapien brains, so it's not as icky as it all sounds.

'Stranger Danger'

Being around strangers can cause people stress and, in turn, make them less able to feel others' pain, new research suggests.


Crime_P_iconPeople can be convinced they committed a crime that never happened

Evidence from some wrongful-conviction cases suggests that suspects can be questioned in ways that lead them to falsely believe in and confess to committing crimes they didn’t actually commit. New […]

30 Spectacular Ways To Tie A Tie Knot

After some truly extensive research, ShirtsMyWay brings us the ultimate guide on different ways to tie a tie knot. They've gathered 30 of the best tie knots ever created by mankind to give you just the edge you need to look your best at all times. You'll learn how to tie different types of fancy tie knots, for every and any occasion.

11 Of History’s Biggest Pranksters

When you think about the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn't, 'Marie Curie, you rascal.' Likewise, solemn pictures of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his fireside chats probably don't inspire you to say, 'That FDR was such a scamp.'

But the truth is, even some of the most serious figures from history liked a good joke now and then.

Nine Houses Which Were Built Out Of Spite

People build houses and buildings for all sorts of good reasons, and a few bad ones, but building a house just for spite? Now that’s a new one!
Jerry Seinfeld once tried to return a jacket out of spite for the salesman who sold it to him, and that didn’t work out very well for him, but spite will make you do crazy things as you’ll see in 9 Houses Built Just For Spite, vintage mental_floss circa 2013.
It is there that you will discover how one man dealt with noisy people using the alley next to his house, and how a doctor guy from Maryland kept the city from building a road through his property, and how this other dude in Nevada dealt with living next door to his enemy.
Spoiler alert- every story involves a house being built, and some spite! (Insert obligatory spite as building material joke here)

22 Real Places That Inspired Disney Animated Movies

This is Prince Eric's castle from The Little Mermaid.
This is Chillon Castle, a real building in Switzerland.
The resemblance is striking, isn't it? Chillon Castle sits on the shore of Lake Geneva. It's existed in some form since at least 1150 and was most likely built to control what was a major road in medieval times. Chillon Castle has been a fortress, a prison, and an arsenal. It entered the popular imagination after famous writers, including Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Percy Shelley, and Lord Byron wrote about it. In "The Prisoner of Chillon," Byron describes the castle through the voice of someone trapped there:
There are seven pillars of Gothic mould,
In Chillon's dungeons deep and old,
There are seven columns, massy and grey,
Dim with a dull imprison'd ray,
A sunbeam which hath lost its way,
And through the crevice and the cleft
Of the thick wall is fallen and left;
And so it was an appropriate choice for the animators of The Little Mermaid.
This is only 1 of 22 real life places that inspired the background artists of Disney animated movies. You can view the rest at When on Earth.

10 Amazing Stories Of People Who Woke Up From Comas

People survive and recover from comas fairly often, but the odds of recovery depend on a person’s illness or injuries and the length of time they are incapacitated. The longer the coma, the lower the odds of recovery. The ten (actually twelve) people in this list are all very different: their comas lasted from a few days to decades long, and their recoveries varied greatly. Some recovered very gradually. One was in a locked-in state for years while no one knew. And three presented strange language deficiencies when they came to. One was Ben McMahon.
Growing up in Australia, Ben McMahon learned French and Mandarin, but was never fluent in them. In 2012, he was in a car accident which left him comatose for a week. Doctors said he would be lucky if he survived. He beat the odds and woke up but, oddly, he only spoke Mandarin and couldn’t speak English. He could also write in Mandarin.

Eventually, Ben regained the ability to speak English, but didn’t lose the ability to speak Mandarin. As of September 2014, Ben is living in Shanghai where he attends school, but also gives walking tours of the city. In fact, his Mandarin is so good it impresses native speakers, and he is the host of a TV show in Shanghai.
Some of the stories of coma patients contain disturbing circumstances of violence, injury, and abuse. Read them all at ListVerse.

Man sues for $1M after dogsled nightmare pre-wedding honeymoon

A French tourist is suing for nearly $1 million after he broke his back during a dogsled trip in Quebec, Canada, that he says cost him his future bride.
Paris native Alain Rolland, 43, says fiancee Romy Kerdel, 22, left him after he was tossed from a sleigh and run over north of Montreal in January 2012.
He had taken Ms Kerdel to Quebec for a pre-wedding honeymoon to "make babies," he said. Instead, Rolland was hospitalized in Quebec for four months and had to learn to walk again once he returned to France. That's when his bride-to-be got cold feet.
"She said she was exhausted and needed to think about it," said Rolland, who hasn't seen the woman since. He's suing four companies for $924,315.73, including a travel agency, an inn and a kennel operator. "This accident cost me my companion," he lamented. The travel agent and inn owner both deny responsibility.

Man who sent his toddler to nursery with bag of drugs and knives instead of packed lunch jailed

A father who sent his three-year-old son to nursery with a lunch box full of drugs and knives has been jailed. Lee Webb, 23, of Folkestone, Kent, dropped his child off at the Folkestone nursery at 8.45am on March 28 2014. Instead of giving nursery staff a bag containing his child’s lunch, Webb accidentally handed over a bag containing a mix of class A and B drugs, drugs paraphernalia and knives. Realising his mistake he requested the bag back, but the staff refused and called the police. Webb was arrested later that day, during his arrest officers noticed Webb had written the number for his solicitor on the back of his hand. In interview Webb stated that a friend had given him the bag to look after. He later realized that it contained white powder and was intending to call his friend to take the bag back. He claimed he had mistakenly given it to the nursery. A further inspection by forensic officers found that the two plastic lunchboxes contained white powder, which was later confirmed to be cocaine and mephedrone with an estimated value of between £8,000 and £12,000.
Weighing scales were also seized from the bag as were two knives. Several hundreds of pounds of cash were located when officers searched his home; Webb claimed that this was her personal savings. Webb admitted one count of possessing cocaine with intent to supply and one count of possessing mephedrone with intent to supply. He appeared before Canterbury Crown Court on Tuesday, January 6 where he was sentenced to four years behind bars. Speaking after sentencing, the investigating officer Detective Constable Kay Brown said: "Stupidity does not even come close to describing the actions of this man.
"The consequences of his irresponsible, not to mention illegal actions, could have been severe. As a father his role is to protect and nurture, however he put his own child at serious risk of harm. The staff at the nursery must be praised for their actions. Clearly a serious offense had been committed and they would not be intimidated when Webb demanded the drugs and other items back and they rightly called the police. This is a significant custodial sentence which reflects the severity of the crime." Webb was sentenced to four years for possession of class A drugs with intent to supply. He was sentenced to a further eight months for possession of class B drugs. He will be appearing again before Canterbury Crown Court on 16 June 2015 for a Proceeds of Crime hearing.

Man jailed after breaking into police station and cooking ravioli with milk and Weetabix

A man on bail who broke into an unmanned police station was caught cooking himself ravioli with Weetabix, a court has heard. Officers investigating an alarm at the empty Oxgangs Police Station building in the south-west of Edinburgh, Scotland, found a window had been smashed and someone had broken in. On entering, they discovered 38-year old Lynton Frazer cooking himself a mixture of ravioli, Weetabix and milk in a saucepan.
He told them he had been hungry. At Edinburgh Sheriff Court Frazer, of Firrhill Park, Edinburgh, was jailed for three months, having previously admitted breaking into Oxgangs Police Station in the middle of the night and stealing food and milk on August 29, 2013. Sentence had been deferred for reports. Frazer was on bail at the time. Defence solicitor, John Good, told Sheriff Frank Crowe his client had an unwillingness to address his mental health difficulties and the use of legal highs. “Through exasperation he often says ‘I am going to jail’. He sees this as some sort of short term treatment”.
Frazer, he added, had only six previous convictions, the last being seven or eight years ago. He had also been the subject of four hospital orders. Mr Good said he had thought a Community Payback Order under supervision might show what could be done for his client, but the reports did not hold out much hope of his motivation to do that. “His life is just so chaotic” he added. Sheriff Crowe said Frazer had said the aim of the break-in was deliberate to get arrested.
Mr Good said his client went through periods of offending because of his concentrated use of legal highs and that attracted the attention of the police, but he added: “It is clear he does not want to go to prison”. Jailing Frazer, Sheriff Crowe said it had been a “very troubling case”. “All options have been considered in the Social Work report, including deferring sentence in the hope something would work” he said, but added: “I am not satisfied this is an option for the court. The only answer is a prison sentence. Under that regime you can be seen by a psychiatrist and have medication. There is no other method in my view of dealing with this case”.

New Zealand police chased after man riding shopping cart

Police in Auckland have condemned the actions of a man who rolled down Queen St while riding a shopping cart. The man was leaning over the trolley and scooting down the city's main street while passers-by cheered.
The cart rider was quickly spotted by police, whose car performed a speedy U-turn and followed the man around a corner, lights blazing. "The individual may think this is a joke but it is clearly a dangerous activity which puts himself and others at risk," Auckland City district road policing manager Regan James said.
"A shopping cart traveling at speed in this way on a busy CBD road with multiple road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles, has the potential to cause serious injury to an adult pedestrian or, even worse, to a child. The rider could also suffer significant harm if he tipped over or hit an object or other vehicle.
"Without information about the date this occurred, we are unable to say what the outcome of this incident was. We can, however, say a warning or even prosecution for using a vehicle carelessly could be considered."

Public help police identify washing machine urinator

Following an appeal for help from the public, police in Vermont have identified the Washing Machine Urinator. Investigators are now trying to locate and question Steven Byrd, the man who relieved himself inside the Waterbury Laundry & Dry.
Video of the December 29 incident was recorded by a surveillance camera inside the business. Byrd was with some friends in the self-serve laundromat when he pulled up a chair to the washing machine, opened the lid, and began urinating.
When finished, he zipped up his pants and shut the machine’s lid. Byrd was identified from a photo uploaded to his Facebook page two days before the urination incident.

The business was unattended when Byrd and his friends arrived after 8pm and “began throwing stuff around,” according to Police Chief Joby Feccia, who added that the department received “dozens of calls” from the public identifying the individuals seen in the surveillance video. When Byrd is apprehended, he will likely be cited for vandalism.

The World's Hottest Volcanoes

A new analysis used satellite observations of 95 of Earths most active volcanoes to determine which volcanos on Earth have been the hottest since the turn of the century. The answer depends on how you define hottest, but, in terms of total energy radiated, the top spot goes to Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii.'
Here's a list of the world's hottest volcanos.

Extremely Close-Up Footage of Lava Pouring into Water

Last year, Kawika Singson used a GoPro to capture amazing footage of lava spilling into the ocean. Twisted Sifter notes that the camera was "hopefully on a very long pole." This is only one of many incredible lava videos in his YouTube channel. Watch more and flinch repeatedly.
Singson shot the videos at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. It's very dangeorus work:
It was extremely difficult to get to," he told The Huffington Post. "The videos can only show you so much, but to actually be there, to feel the heat. ... The heat is one thing, but the gases are extremely toxic."
Singson, a Hawaii local who explores the lava and volcano at least once a week, outfits himself with a respirator when filming lava closely and wears long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect himself from burns. Although his rubber tennis shoes sometimes melt as he walks over the scorching grounds, he prefers them to fire-proof boots, in case he has to run from a collapsing area or a random combustion. The thin soles also help him more accurately feel the ground over which he's walking.
"You have to be on the top of your game out there," he said. "First of all, you have the ocean and the current, then you have the lava, then you have to worry about bridges collapsing and then you have to worry about the super-hot toxic steam. All those things are going on at the same time."

Why Do Stars Seem Brighter In Winter?

As seen during Northern Hemisphere winter (or Southern Hemisphere summer), the stars seem brighter. Why? It's partly because on December, January and February evenings the part of Earth you're standing on is facing into the spiral arm of the galaxy to which our sun belongs.

Sea Level Rise Accelerating

The rate of sea level rise over the past couple decades was underestimated until recently, with possible implications for future rise.

'Industrialized' Ocean vs Marine Life

A new report reviews the past, present, and future of ocean animals.

Police officer who saved terrified puppy from five lane motorway hailed a hero

A Peruvian policeman who stepped out onto a busy motorway and ordered traffic across five lanes to stop so he could rescue a puppy has been hailed a hero. The officer, later identified as Juan Manuel Iman Zena, 34, said he was worried about the puppy after he spotted it on the busy Panamericana Sur, in the Peruvian capital Lima, but added he had also been worried that the animal might cause a serious accident.
He said: "I could see that there was no way the young dog was going to make it back and it's amazing he even managed to get the central reservation in the first place. I knew it was about to be hit at any moment, and was worried that if a car tried to swerve it might cause an accident." So he then started to wave down the traffic, eventually crossing five lanes and stopping all of them before slowly approaching the puppy and grabbing it by the scruff of the neck to carry it back to safety.
He then put the animal on a makeshift lead while he checked out the collar to help him track down the owners. He said: "I had an easy job with the last part, the telephone number for the owners was on the collar and I simply called them and they were very grateful to be reunited with their pet. I was only doing my job."

The president of the Peruvian Animal Protection Association, Cecilia Degregori, said that it was great to see positive news about dogs and people in the media for a change. She said: "Unfortunately, we see daily reports of cruelty and indifference against animals and we are fighting to change this attitude. However I must say to this policeman, with your behavior we are proud of you and the Peruvian police and we see in you hope for the future for change."

Dog rescued after falling through ice on frozen river

A dog’s struggle to survive brought out the best in the community of Troy, Ohio. The dog was seen struggled in the freezing water of the Great Miami River on Monday morning. An electric crew spotted the dog near the Adam Street bridge at around 9:00am as they were removing Xmas decorations from the bridge.

Police and fire crews arrived, tossing a rope to the dog, hoping it would grab it in its mouth. Other rescuers and residents rallied along the side of the river encouraging the dog to swim their way. Eventually Troy firefighter Ryan Havenar went out on the ice using a specially designed float made for ice and water rescues.

Havenar was able to grab hold of Stella and bring her back to shore. She was rushed to the Stonyridge Veterinary Clinic for treatment. Doctors there gave her an IV with warm fluids and wrapped her up in a ‘snuggy’ blanket. Stella, the 7-year-old brown Labrador retriever is now back with her owner.

Her owner, Barb Igoe, was tearfully reunited with her dog late on Monday afternoon. She said: “They did an amazing job of getting her out and I would like to thank everyone who helped.” Igoe says Stella ran off on Monday morning when she let them outside to go to the bathroom. She contacted the Miami County Animal Shelter about her missing dog and found out a short time later that it was Stella rescued from the river.

Like A Giant Rollercoaster

Geese can travel high over mountains, but they choose to fly roller coaster-style over the Himalayas. Researchers found out why.

Magnetically Drawn

Every beach has its own unique magnetic signature and research finds sea turtles detect these signatures to locate their favorite spots.

Giant Kangaroo DNA

The mysterious marsupial roamed Australia more than 40,000 years ago.

Animal Pictures