Welcome to ...

The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts, yeah, we're talking to you ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
Whale Watching ... !
Today is  -  World Whale Day

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

Some of our readers today have been in:
The Americas
Brazil - Canada - Colombia - Ecuador - Nicaragua - Puerto Rico - United States
Belgium - Bosnia'/Herzegovina - Bulgaria - Czech Republic - England - France - Germany - Greece  Iceland - Ireland - Italy - Latvia - Macedonia - Moldova - Norway - Poland - Portugal - Romania - Russia  Slovenia - Slovakia - Spain - Sweden - Switzerland
Hong Kong - India - Indonesia - Iran - Israel - Malaysia - Pakistan - Sri Lanka - Syria - Thailand
Algeria - Egypt - Morocco - Tanzania
The Pacific
Australia - Philippines

Today in History

1349   2,000 jews are burned at the stake in Strasbourg, Germany.  
1400   The deposed Richard II is murdered in Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire.  
1549   Maximilian II, brother of the Emperor Charles V, is recognized as the future king of Bohemia.  
1779   American Loyalists are defeated by Patriots at Kettle Creek, Ga.  
1797   The Spanish fleet is destroyed by the British under Admiral Jervis (with Nelson in support) at the battle of Cape St. Vincent, off Portugal.  
1848   James Polk becomes the first U.S. President to be photographed in office by Matthew Brady.  
1859   Oregon is admitted as the thirty-third state.  
1870   Esther Morris becomes the world's first female justice of the peace.
1876   Rival inventors Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell both apply for patents for the telephone.  
1900   General Roberts invades South Africa's Orange Free State with 20,000 British troops.
1904   The "Missouri Kid" is captured in Kansas.  
1912   Arizona becomes the 48th state in the Union.  
1915   Kaiser Wilhelm II invites the U.S. Ambassador to Berlin in order to confer on the war.  
1918   Warsaw demonstrators protest the transfer of Polish territory to the Ukraine.  
1920   The League of Women Voters is formed in Chicago in celebration of the imminent ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.
1924   Thomas Watson founds International Business Machines Corp.  
1929   Chicago gang war between Al Capone and George "Bugs" Moran culminates with several Moran confederates being gunned down in the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.  
1939   Germany launches the battleship Bismark.  
1940   Britain announces that all merchant ships will be armed.  
1942   Japanese paratroopers attack Sumatra. Aidan MacCarthy's RAF unit flew to Palembang, in eastern Sumatra, where 30 Royal Australian Air Force Lockheed A-28 Hudson bombers were waiting.  
1945   800 Allied aircraft firebomb the German city of Dresden. Smaller followup bombing raids last until April with a total death toll of between 35,000 to 130,000 civilians.  
1945   The siege of Budapest ends as the Soviets take the city. Only 785 German and Hungarian soldiers managed to escape.  
1949   The United States charges the Soviet Union with interning up to 14 million in labor camps.
1955   A Jewish couple loses their fight to adopt Catholic twins as the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to rule on state law.
1957   The Georgia state senate outlaws interracial athletics.  
1965   Malcolm X's home is firebombed. No injuries are reported.  
1971   Moscow publicizes a new five-year plan geared to expanding consumer production.  
1973   The United States and Hanoi set up a group to channel reconstruction aid directly to Hanoi.
1979   Armed guerrillas attack the U.S. embassy in Tehran.  
1985   Vietnamese troops surround the main Khmer Rouge base at Phnom Malai.
1989   Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini charges that Salman Rushdie's novel, The Satanic Verses, is blasphemous and issues an edict (fatwa) calling on muslims to kill Rushdie.

Idiot repugican In Montana Introduces Bill To Ban Yoga Pants

On Tuesday, Montana repugican moron David “Doc” Moore (r-Missoula) introduced House Bill 365 into the Montana legislature to strengthen the state’s indecency laws.  The repugican wants to enforce stricter modesty standards on the state, to end the scourge of yoga pants and visible nipples.
House Bill 365 would ban the exposure of genitals, pubic hair or nipples. It also bans any tight fitting clothing that would simulate the genitals, or pubic hair region, or that would give “the realistic appearance of a nipple or areola”. An exemption is made to permit breastfeeding mothers to allow their babies to nurse.
Montana’s indecent exposure laws carry unusually harsh sentences. A first-time offender can spend up to six months in jail. A repeat offender committing his or her third offense can face up to a 10,000 dollar fine and life imprisonment. Moore apparently recognized the absurdity of life imprisonment for a three-time yoga pants wearer, so his bill does, at least, call for the maximum sentence to be reduced to five years in jail and a 5000 dollar fine.
The legislation was apparently drafted in response to a “Bare as you Dare” bicycle event, where nude cyclists peddled through downtown Missoula on August 17, 2014. Moore’s bill would not only reaffirm his opposition to public nudity, but it would extend protecting the public from having to view tight-fitting beige yoga pants as well.
Moore serves as yet another example that while the cabal of “small government” considers requiring corporations to abide by safety and environmental regulations needlessly burdensome, they have no problem with a state mandated dress code for ordinary citizens. To repugican wingnuts, regulations that prohibit corporate exploitation are an infringement on liberty, but laws that regulate personal wardrobe choices are just dandy. Wear yoga pants to the fitness club and some repugicans want to put you in jail. That is a strange way for repugicans to show how much they value individual liberty.
Editor's Note: This farce was tabled in committee, so at least someone had a lick-of-sense and mercifully killed this piece of tripe before the stench got too ripe.

The 21st Century Koch-christian Crusade Is Killing Thousands Of Americans

The common demand from the religio-wingnuts is "show just one instance of christians killing anyone NOW," not 1,000, 60, 30, or even 12 years ago.
Over the past week since President Obama took the moral high road and reminded christians of the atrocities committed in the name of islam by the Islamic State are no different than the historical killing for christianity, the religio-wingnuts have screamed there is no similarity whatsoever. What has been fascinating to observe is the preponderance of christian and wingnut criticism of the President’s remarks asserting that the comparison is unwarranted and unfair because the Crusades occurred in 1097. If the 1097 christian Crusade and Inquisition was the only time christians went on a mass killing spree, the President’s detractors would have a fair point, but that is not the case.
Many articles have been written citing the other christian Crusades and there were just as many accusations that they too, were a long time ago and not relevant to the President’s statement. There has also been a rash of commentaries citing the Holocaust as a “more current” christian-inspired mass-killing with just as many arguments that the attempted extermination was over 60 years ago and not a valid comparison. It is also, according to christian wingnuts, completely irrelevant  and  unfair to compare  christians’ attempted extermination of muslims in the 1990s Balkan war, or evangelical christian or the shrub's ‘righteous crusade’ in Iraq that killed over 655,000 innocent Iraqi civilians because those mass murders too, were in the past.
The common demand from the religio-wingnuts is “show just one instance of christians killing anyone NOW,” not 1,000, 60, 30, or even 12 years ago. It is really an unfair demand, but one that is easily answered without ever looking outside of America’s borders, or in the past because there is an ongoing and concerted effort among christian wingnuts to kill other Americans; most who are likely other christians. In fact, last week a christian minister in Tennessee prayed to dog for assistance to kill other Americans in what is an ongoing killing-spree in repugican-misled states and legislatures.
The so-called christian minister in Tennessee gave the invocation before a series of state Senate committee hearings on whether the state should support Governor Bill Haslam’s attempt to expand Medicaid. The christian preacher emotionally prayed for dog’s will to be done in “ending any effort to expand Medicaid in Tennessee.” The christian minister beseeched dog “to save Tennessee for jesus sake, and I pray that your will would be done that you would be our coverage, that we would not be forced into these edicts from Washington DC or any other quarter, but let the people know that our coverage is the same as with Moses and the children of Israel when they went through the wilderness with only the divine providence of almighty dog.” Failing to expand Medicaid in Tennessee may not be an immediate death sentence for poor citizens, but it is still a death sentence all the same. It is also a pre-meditated killing spree perpetrated by “wingnut christians” on behalf of the Koch brothers. Subsequently, it appears the christians’ dog answered the preacher’s impassioned prayer so now Tennessee residents will die. Not a thousand, sixty, thirty, or twelve years ago; now and the foreseeable future.
The repugican governor had proposed a plan to expand Medicaid to 250,000 adults, but Koch-christian repugicans killed it by a vote of 7-4 in the state Senate committee after the christian minister prayed for divine intervention to withhold medical care from a quarter-of-a-million Tennessee citizens. The governor’s expansion plans had full support of the Tennessee’s Hospital Association, the Business Roundtable, and the Medical Association, but they were no match for the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity and the biblical dog; if one believes it answers prayers to stop Medicaid expansion and “provide coverage the same as Moses and the children of Israel going through the wilderness.”
In Alabama late last year the governor refused to expand Medicaid that affected 300,000 Alabamians and is responsible for closing down hospitals. In fact, according to statistics, by rejecting the free Medicaid expansion the governor’s rejection will kill more than 700 Alabama residents each and every year. It is not ISIL type-numbers, but for a state like Alabama that prides itself on being a “very christian state” like Tennessee, wingnut christian repugicans are wantonly killing their fellow citizens with valuable assistance from the Koch brothers. And, it is happening NOW; not a thousand, sixty, thirty, or twelve years’ ago like critics of the President contend.
There is a current “crusade” in several repugican state legislatures filled with wingnut christians, and repugican governors advocating for Medicaid expansion, to kill any attempt to help provide their residents with access to lifesaving medical care. One such crusade led to the death of a Wyoming Medicaid expansion bill last week that enjoyed the support of repugican Governor Matt Mead and would have provided lifesaving medical care for over 17,000 low-income residents.
In Montana, the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity (AFP) have been threatening legislators who refuse to sign “no Medicaid expansion pledge cards” because the governor, Steve Bullock, is attempting to help 70,000 residents stay alive. The local AFP director said that the reason the Kochs put them to work helping christian repugicans’ impose ‘slow death’ on mostly christian Americans is because “some legislators are not acting like adults” because they likely believe the proper christian path is helping poor residents avoid death due to no access to medical care.
Some so-called christians who have not needed the Koch threats are Louisiana governor and avowed evangelical christian Bobby Jindal, and former Texas governor Rick “pray for rain” Perry among many others. There is intense pressure in Ohio, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska to block or roll-back Medicaid expansion, and in every case the Koch-repugican cabal efforts will withhold medical care for their residents causing deaths NOW and in the future. Each and every one of the repugican governors and state legislatures are funded by the Koch brothers and the allegedly-christian anti-medical care crusade will kill residents.
This ongoing Crusade by christians in repugican governors’ mansions and state legislatures may not result in the same kind of brutal deaths being publicized by ISIL, but killing is killing and death; whether it is slow or immediate, it is still death. In fact, what makes the American terrorists’ (evangelical repugicans) killings all the more despicable is they are killing other christians that likely voted them into office to look out for their best interests.
It is true that President Obama cited one centuries’ old christian Crusade and Inquisition that resulted in wanton killings he meant as a reminder for christians to temper their criticism of all followers of islam, but in the same way that killing is killing, a crusade is a crusade. The current crusade being waged against other Americans, most of them christians, is being carried out by repugicans claiming christianity as their guiding force, and although most are not praying for god’s assistance to kill Americans slowly by withholding medical care like in Tennessee, the result is the same; Americans are dying and their killers are christians ensconced in the repugican cabal funded by Charles and David Koch.

The repugicans’ Rule A Death Sentence For 9 Million Disabled Americans

The repugicans have shifted their focus slightly away from just killing Americans' jobs to killing disabled Americans; nearly nine million disabled Americans. …
death-sentenceOver the past four years that repugicans have controlled one-half of Congress, most of their energy was focused on killing Americans’ jobs. Now that they control the entire Congress thanks to the billionaire Koch brothers, repugicans have shifted their focus slightly away from just killing Americans’ jobs to killing disabled Americans; nearly nine million disabled Americans.
That was the conclusion of the acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn Colvin during a Senate Budget Committee hearing focused on addressing the recent rule change by house repugicans forbidding the Trust from shifting funds within the program for disabled Americans. In answer to a query from Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) about what the consequences are for disabled Americans if the rule change stays in effect, she said a failure by Congress to shore up the Disability Insurance Trust Fund would be deadly for its beneficiaries. Colvin said, “I don’t want to be dramatic, but I’ve worked with this population my whole career. We [would] give them a death sentence.”
Due to the house repugicans’ unilateral “rule change,” the disability fund is projected to be exhausted by the end of 2016, and if Congress fails to correct the repugican rule change beneficiaries will receive a 20 percent cut in benefits. Apparently, the Senate is taking up the issue because lawmakers are divided over how to deal with the shortfall instead of doing what they have done 11 times in the past; reallocate funds from within the Trust.
The acting Commissioner Calvin said that on average, recipients get about $1,200 a month and depend on it for paying rent, buying food and other necessities. $1,200 per month is below the federal poverty line and she noted that at that level people “are barely surviving as it is. If you get a cut there, you’re not going to be able to survive.” Colvin likely fails to realize that warning repugicans that their cuts are a death sentence for disabled Americans will only fuel their lust to kill a small percentage of the 47 percent of the population they regard as moochers and takers; disabled people.
One of the repugicans opposed to Social Security in general, and who instigated the House rule change, Tom Price, said the program needs to be cut due to rampant abuse and fraud; a lie repugicans claim about every social program. However, according to a senior fellow of federal fiscal policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), Kathy Ruffing, repugicans like Price who claim Social Security is welfare for cheaters are doing what the repugican cabal does as a matter of course; lying.
Ruffing said, “repugicans in Congress have systematically underfunded those efforts by the Social Security Administration and I think that the critics of the program who like to claim that it is somehow rife with fraud and abuse have a responsibility to document those claims. They are frankly wrong.” Of course they are wrong, and lying, but that is what they do naturally. Expecting them to document a lie is childish. The repugicans do not document anything.
These are the same repugicans who are wont to claim Social Security is welfare in their drive to eliminate the program for their benefactors the Koch brothers. It is worth reiterating that the nation’s most popular New Deal program is a primary target of the Kochs who claim Social Security is “fraudulent and increasingly oppressive.” They have been calling for its summary repeal for thirty-five years; repugicans have hated it since its inception.
About 8.9 million people receive disability benefits from the fund and its eligibility guidelines are extremely stringent. First, it is not welfare because beneficiaries must have paid into the program while they worked at least one-quarter of their adult life, and five of the last 10 years. The overwhelming majority of beneficiaries are 55 or older, and many of them die within a few years of first receiving the insurance according to CBPP; many die while they are waiting for a determination that they qualify as disabled that may take 2-3 years and several appeals. About a quarter of recipients are mentally impaired, have muscular or skeletal problems, or suffer from diseases such as diabetes, Lou Gehrig’s disease, congestive heart failure, and cancer; the kind of debilitating infirmities that repugicans claim make recipients frauds, abusers, and takers.
While Democrats are looking for a solution to keep the disability fund solvent now that repugicans eliminated reallocating funds within the Trust, repugicans will oppose keeping the fund solvent using any measure; especially since the Koch brothers bought control of Congress. Ms. Colvin, Democrats, and many pundits have noted and reminded repugicans that Congress previously approved 11 reallocations between the two funds on a regularly bipartisan basis. However, now that the Kochs own both houses of Congress, they intend on imposing their agenda on the nation and any sense of bipartisanship is over  because they do not own Democrats…yet.
Now that Senate Democrats are addressing the House repugican cabal action, repugican Kelly Ayotte (NH) spoke for the Koch brothers and said it would be a dire mistake to do what Congress has done on a bipartisan basis 11 times before to preserve the solvency of the fund; and she repeated a favorite repugican phrase to justify the repugican action. She said “Congress would be kicking the can down the road” by trying to find a reasonable solution to what commissioner Colvin said was a ‘death sentence for the disabled.” The repugicans want drastic cuts, privatization, raising the retirement age to 75, or following the Koch demand and just repeal what they claim is the “fraudulent and increasingly oppressive” program altogether.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that allowing the trust funds to borrow from each other will not affect either division’s solvency, but that was before Paul Ryan changed the CBO into a “trickle down rubber stamp” for the Koch brothers. President Obama proposed another reallocation in his fiscal 2016 budget last week, but repugicans want “a concrete proposal.” On Wednesday, the ranking member on the Senate Budget panel, Bernie Sanders, offered a very concrete proposal that entails raising Social Security taxes on the wealthy; a proposal repugicans will reject without blinking.
Actually, Senator Sanders’ plan is not really a payroll tax hike, but an equitable solution repugicans typically reject out of hand because it is fair for all Americans. Sanders said, “If repugicans are serious about extending the solvency of Social Security, they will join me in scrapping the cap that allows multi-millionaires to pay a much smaller percentage of their income into Social Security than the middle class.” Any individual earning over $118,500 annually exceeds the cap on Social Security withholding; millionaires pay next to nothing on their incomes. Senator Sanders saying the rich pay a “much smaller percentage” is a gross understatement, but his point is that if every American paid the same percentage, it would extend the solvency of the program into perpetuity including affording the Trust to raise benefits substantially.
However, because the Koch brothers want Social Security abolished, and the repugican cabal rule change forbidding reallocation is just their first step in the hastening program’s demise, there will be no tax hike on the rich. Keeping the Trust solvent is of no interest to repugicans’ and the news that their “new rule” is a death sentence for nine million disabled Americans only adds to their joy at eventually killing the program for the Koch brothers.
Most Americans understand the repugicans’ goal is to kill Social Security, so it was interesting that Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) said that while he questions the repugican cabal’s tactics, he still foolishly holds out hope that the Kochs will allow repugicans to reallocate money to keep the disability program solvent. Rangel said, “It’s really a stain on the reputation of this body. Thank dog it doesn’t involve a crime, but it does involve the most gross misuse of political power.” Even if it did involve a crime there would be no consequences for repugicans. If there were consequences for repugican crimes, or gross misuse of political power, John Boehner would be indicted for violating the Logan Act and share manipulation in pushing the KeystoneXL pipeline. The fact that the repugican rule change is a “death sentence” for nine million disabled Americans will likely garner them greater support from their religio-wingnut base.

Americans support marriage equality … as long as they can still discriminate against gays

A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds that although more Americans support marriage equality (44 percent) than oppose it (39 percent), 57 percent also think it should be perfectly legal for people to refuse service to same-sex couples.
David Kenney, a self-employed Catholic from Novi, Michigan, said he's fine with same-sex marriage being legal. He's among the 57 percent of Americans who said wedding-related businesses - such as florists - should be allowed to refuse service if they have an objection rooted in their religion.
Well, there you have it. Another lesson in Religious Freedom = Discrimination. Just to be clear, in the vast majority of states and municipalities across the country it's still perfectly legal to refuse service to LGBT citizens. Although Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people from being refused service on the basis of their race, color, religion, or national origin, no such federal protections exist for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals.
But what the poll really indicates is that people are profoundly confused about the term "religious freedom." The First Amendment does not guarantee us the right to discriminate based on our religion, it instead guarantees us the right not to be discriminated against based on our religious beliefs.

Blood type can affect brain function

A new study finds that people with AB blood type are at higher risk for age-related cognitive decline
Blood type may affect brain function as we age, according to a new large, long-term study. People with the rare AB blood type, present in less than 10 percent of the population, have a higher than usual risk of cognitive problems as they age.
University of Vermont hematologist Mary Cushman and her colleagues used data from a national study called REGARDS, which has been following 30,239 African-American and Caucasian individuals older than 45 since 2007. The aim of the study is to understand the heavy stroke toll seen in the southeastern U.S., particularly among African-Americans. Cushman's team focused on information collected twice yearly via phone surveys that evaluate cognitive skills such as learning, short-term memory and executive function. The researchers zeroed in on 495 individuals who showed significant declines on at least two of the three phone survey tests.
When they compared that cognitively declining group with 587 participants whose mental muster remained robust, researchers found that impairment in thinking was roughly 82 percent more likely in individuals with AB blood type than in those with A, B or O blood types, even after taking their race, sex and geography into account. The finding was published online last September in Neurology.

'Measles Parties'

You might have read reports about so called "measles parties," in which parents purposely send healthy children off to parties with measles-infected kids. It turns out the parties aren't a thing, according to health officials. 

Pregnant Baby

A child born in Hong Kong was pregnant with her own twins at the time of her birth, according to a new report of the infant's case. 

Ray Cats, Artificial Moons and the Atomic Priesthood

by Rachel Kaufman  
Radioactive junkyards remain dangerous for millennia. So how do you keep future generations of urban explorers and dumpster divers away from all that toxic trash? With a sign, of course!
New Mexico’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) may be the trashiest place on Earth. Buried deep in the Chihuahuan Desert, the plant contains nearly 2 million cubic feet of radioactive sludge and debris leftover from various nuclear weapons and defense projects. But don’t mistake the WIPP for a simple pit in the ground. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy spent nearly 20 years carefully planning the safest way to throw out the country’s nuclear trash before committing to the site.
Today, the plant resides inside a 250 million-year-old salt deposit that’s positioned half a mile underground. And there’s good reason for that. Scientists chose the location because of its ability to prevent radiation from contaminating groundwater and seeping out to the surface. Because salt deposits tend to slowly collapse on themselves over time, scientists are banking on the idea that the structure will naturally seal in the nuclear waste, safely entombing the site deep underground.
Under the WIPP’s current charter, the site will continue to receive radioactive garbage from the country’s nuclear weapons and energy programs until about 2070—at which point it will be sealed up and never opened again. At least, that’s the plan. The WIPP still has one major problem, though. Radioactive waste remains dangerous to humans for at least 10,000 years. So, how do we tell people living in the far distant future to stay out of our trash? The government’s solution: some good, old-fashioned warning signs.
Global Warning
Of course, coming up with such a simple plan wasn’t all that easy. To keep future generations safe, the U.S. government had to do some seriously long-term thinking. In the 1990s, when the WIPP was still being completed, federal officials convened a panel of scientists, anthropologists, and linguists to brainstorm. And just to ensure they had enough diverse minds involved, they also invited a team of science-fiction writers to join the mix.
The group realized early on that big “Do Not Enter” signs wouldn’t suffice for the WIPP site. After all, they reasoned, there were plenty of curses and warnings carved into the ancient pyramids to ward off grave robbers, and clearly, legions of Egyptologists ignored the pictograms and raided the tombs anyway. What’s more, it’s doubtful that folks 10,000 years from now will even be able to read modern English. Think of it this way: Only a few of today’s scholars can understand the original Beowulf without a translation, and that text is only 1,000 years old.
Creating an ominous warning sign that lasts forever and translates for generations across all cultures wasn’t going to be easy. But as Germany learned when it faced a similar problem in the 1980s (thanks to some leaky nuclear-storage incidents), academics aren’t shy about offering out-of-the-box suggestions. One expert proposed writing a message on an artificial moon and launching it into space. Because the moon would always be visible in the night sky, the warning would be impossible to forget. Yet another expert proposed creating an “atomic priesthood”—an elite class of people who would protect the area from one generation to the next by scaring the public with veiled threats of a supernatural curse. On the opposite end of the spectrum, one researcher suggested leaving the site entirely unmarked, reasoning that human curiosity is too powerful a force to overcome.
But the strangest suggestion by far came from two European linguists. They argued that governments around the world should breed cats that turn colors when exposed to radiation. These so-called “ray cats” could then be immortalized in song and legend, so that even after the scientific knowledge of radiation had been lost to the sands of time, folklore would tell of their supernatural power to change their fur in the presence of extreme danger.
For the time being, the U.S. government has settled on a much simpler idea. Surrounding the WIPP will be a forest of concrete obelisks, etched with messages in multiple languages, including English, Chinese, Spanish, Latin, Hebrew, and Navajo. The structures will also contain a series of pictograms that depict human faces in pain. Admittedly, it sounds a whole lot like the warnings on the Egyptian pyramids. But fortunately, the government still has time to come up with a different plan. The WIPP site won’t be sealed for at least another 55 years—and that’s plenty of time to breed a ray cat.


A strict variant of Islam called Wahhabism is adhered to by terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIL. Which other groups practice wahhabism and what are its tenets?

One Piece at a Time

The title of this post refers to the Johnny Cash song, but it’s what Boris Karavkin actually did. Karavkin is a retired artist in Minsk, Belarus, which was part of the USSR. The wait to buy a new car in the Soviet Union was ten years or so back in the ‘60s, and he couldn’t have afforded one anyway, so Karavkin took matters into his own hands and built his automobile- which he still drives!
When assembling the car, Karavkin used sliding doors, a swivel chair for the driver’s seat and anti-theft nuts for hubcaps (the latter have always been popular with car thieves, the world over).
In 40 years, parts of the car have been replaced several times: the engine has been changed three times, the suspension and the air intake system were improved. But the ‘Fantasy’ has now travelled 300,000 km, and Karakvin says it has a maximum speed of 140 km/h.
Karavkin traded sign and poster work for car parts to assemble the vehicle, which took five years and was completed in 1973. Read the story of the homemade car at The Guardian.

Random Celebrity Photos


Andre de Dienes (Dienes Andor): Norma Jeane (Marilyn Monroe), 1945
Norma Jeane (Marilyn Monroe), 1945

Investigators determine that suspicious banana in pine tree was neither a bomb nor a banana

Investigators have determined that an item that appeared to be a suspicious banana found hanging from a pine tree in northeast Lincoln, Nebraska, is harmless.
The banana-appearing device, wrapped in yellow tape and attached to a wire, caught the eye of a Lincoln Electric System worker, Lincoln Fire and Rescue Capt. Lloyd Mueller said.
So the man called 911 to report the suspicious banana and police and fire crews, along with a bomb technician, responded. When Mueller's company arrived, they waited at least 100 feet away and watched the device through binoculars as they waited for the bomb technician to arrive, Lincoln Fire Investigator Chuck Schweitzer said.
Schweitzer and the crews, with an assist from listeners to the police scanner, determined the banana wasn't a bomb. Instead, it was part of a modern scavenger hunt, called geocaching, where enthusiasts try to find hidden objects using GPS. Schweitzer now has custody of the banana-appearing device.

Butt-grabber says he was just trying to teach victim how to dress in the cold

A Florida man has been charged with battery after he grabbed a woman's buttocks, according to the Bradenton Police Department.
Carnell Davis, 59, was arrested at 9:11pm on Friday in Bradenton. According to a report, Davis approached the victim and grabbed her by the arms.
The victim pushed Davis away and, as she was leaving, he grabbed her buttocks. The victim told police she didn't want Davis to touch her.
Davis uttered several times that he should not have touched her and that he was just trying to teach the victim how to dress in the cold. Davis was released from Manatee County jail on Saturday on $500 bond.

Man with chiseled jaw wearing high heels and fishnet stockings robbed fast food restaurant

A man wearing black high-heeled shoes and fishnet stockings is wanted by police over an armed robbery at a fast food restaurant in Melbourne, Australia.
Police said the man, who was also wearing a pink scarf and a blonde wig at the time, approached staff at the counter of a McDonald’s in Laverton North on February 8. They said he was holding a paper cup, which he claimed contained a detonator for an explosive device.
After demanding and receiving a quantity of cash, the man then fled the store on foot. The man was also carrying a large brown bag. Officers said they did not find any explosive devices at the restaurant when they arrived.
Police have released CCTV of a person they believe may be able to assist with their inquiries. The man is said to be of Caucasian appearance, about 183cm tall, of thin build, with a chiseled jaw and heavy stubble on his face, according to police.

Lollipop-sucking man dressed in nappies to gain entry to homes and rob elderly women

A man has been arrested after managing to con dozens of victims into allowing him into their homes by dressing up in nappies and sucking a lollipop. Alberto Julian Meza, 25, targeted mainly older women pretending to be a little boy who was lost and asking for help in finding his mummy. Locals in the town of Villa Elisa, a suburb of Asuncion which is the capital city of Paraguay, said Meza was a regular walking around the streets and most people had simply assumed he was mentally ill.
But in reality he had been targeting mainly elderly women in order to get them to take him in, after which he would steal whatever was to hand and run off while they were making him a snack or bringing him a drink. Local woman Lara Orta Ornelas, 59, said: "I am surprised that the police have only just now arrested him. He has been doing this for years and I know the police have had complaints before, but it's incredible that they never realized the baby is actually a fully grown man. You can see him walking around the streets most days and a fully grown man in nappies is not exactly hard to find."
Another, Claudia Paiva, 43, said: "This man has been going around like this for a very long time and we are all amazed that they are only doing something right now about it." And a third, Sandra Dominguez Pereira, 48, said: "Did police not know him? He was always around, it makes you wonder if he had connections in the right places." However a police spokesman defended officers, saying that the few reports they had received had described a child and they had not realized that the victims, mostly elderly women, had not correctly described the thief.
As a result, they had not been looking for an adult man in a nappy when investigating the thefts. Police realized however that the child might not be all it seemed when they had a report that somebody's pocket been pinched, and that the suspect was a man dressed as a baby with a lollipop. As officers started searching the neighborhood, it was not difficult this time round to find the thief, who was still dressed as a toddler, with a diaper, a lollipop and a bottle of milk. The police spokesman said: "When he saw the officers, he threw the wallet in a courtyard, but kept the money stuffed in his diaper where it was recovered and returned to the victim."

Concordia Sentence

The 54-year-old former captain of the Costa Concordia is also banned from operating a ship for five years.

Random Photos

The Core's Core

The Earth's innermost section is different from what scientists expected.

Deep Fried Ice Cream Scoops

Comets are weird. And they're about to get weirder.

Storm in the Teacup

Astronomers studying an otherwise 'boring' galaxy over a billion light-years from Earth have been surprised to see a powerful storm erupt from its core.

Wife unhappy after snake-catching husband forgot to tell her about lost python in family car

A snake catcher from the Sunshine Coast in Australia found himself in the dog house after he lost a 1.5m snake in his car and forgot to tell his wife about it. Richie Gilbert of Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers said the python had escaped from a bag in the car.
It had been missing for three days before his wife got a surprise behind the wheel. Mr Gilbert said that his wife Nat was about to drive home from a night out when she opened the door and there was a large snake coming out from underneath the steering wheel in the dashboard.
Despite Mr Gilbert's love of snakes, it seems Nat was not so happy to see the slithering beast. She refused to drive the car home, instead demanding her husband get out of bed and rescue her. "It went back up the dash and she refused to drive the car home, no amount of me trying to convince her would change her mind."
But the snake's road trip didn't end there as it disappeared back into the dash. "Note to self: Next time I have a 1.5m snake loose in my car, don't let my wife drive it," said Mr Gilbert in a post on Facebook. Fortunately the python eventually came out and Mr Gilbert was able to use his snake catching skills to put his wife at ease.

Police used Taser to help free deer tangled in dead rival's antlers

The call to South Lake Minnetonka police in Minnesota was about two male deer fighting, but beyond that, the details were not quite the usual. At about 8:30am on Sunday, the resident of a home near Freeman Park in Shorewood called police about two bucks with their antlers tightly locked together in a nearby wooded area. One was thrashing wildly in a seemingly hopeless effort to free itself. The other one was dead.
Officer Ricky Syhre said it was a rare sight. “They must have been stuck together like that for hours,” he said. Syhre and fellow officer John Wareham pondered their options, even contacting local wildlife agencies for tips on how they might safely untangle the bucks. “It was kicking around. We didn’t want any residents to get hurt. We didn’t want the deer to get hurt,” Syhre said. They decided to use a Taser on the struggling buck.
Wareham fired his Taser at it, the animal fell to the ground, and residents standing by used small chain saws to quickly cut off one of its antlers, freeing it. When the deer came to, it ran off. Lt. Jackie Glaser, who works in the west metro area of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said dueling bucks do occasionally become antler-locked. The bucks may have become territorial about the wooded area and scuffled, Glaser said.
While most bucks shed their antlers after the fall rut, some retain theirs through late winter and even into spring, she said. Glaser said it appears that the officers used the best approach possible, because they were able to save the live buck. “It is very rare we find one dead and one alive,” she said. In most situations involving tangled bucks, they are found locked together dead, she said. Officers are trained to use Tasers on animals, but rarely do they have to do so, Syhre said. “Doesn’t happen every day that you would [Taser] a deer,” he said.
You can see the video here. 

Police responding to burglary call found eight holiday sweater-wearing puppies

Police officers responding to reports of a burglary in a vacant Brooklyn building found eight puppies wearing holiday sweaters.
The puppies were discovered by police after the owner of a vacant building in Gravesend heard suspicious noises on the third floor.
Fearing he might have a prowling cat burglar, he called the police.
Officers corralled the pack and took them to the 61 Police Precinct. Animal Care and Control are now caring for the animals.

Crocodiles Just Wanna Have Fun

Crocodiles may look ferocious, but they love to play.

World’s Bravest Tooth Extraction

What’s worse than a polar bear with a toothache? I don’t know, since it’s not a joke. It’s the story of Boris, a polar bear at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington. Boris is 29 years old, twice the average lifespan of a polar bear in the wild. He came to the zoo after he was rescued from a traveling circus. But his dental problems caught up with him, and a team of courageous veterinarians and assistants performed surgery on Boris to remove three rotten teeth. Sure, the bear was anesthetized, you’d still have to wonder every second how well that was working.

New Fish Species Named after Greedo from Star Wars

Peckoltia greedoi is a newly-classified species of suckermouth armored catfish found in the Gurupi River of Brazil. Jonathan W. Armbruster, David C. Werneke, and Milton Tan, who are researchers at Auburn University in Alabama, named it after Greedo, a character from Star Wars. Greedo is best remembered as a bounty hunter who cornered Han Solo on Tatooine. Solo quite properly shot him at the first opportunity.
The resemblance is obvious, so I would advise shooting first upon encountering such a fish.

Swan Rescued after Beak Freezes Shut

A swan was swimming amidst a group of ducks in the Peacock River, Korla, Xinjiang, China. A couple walking along the river noticed that in the cold weather, the swan's beak had frozen shut with a thick layer of ice. The swan was unable to eat food offered to her.
The couple altered the Swan Guard, which is a local force that provides care for resident swans. The Swan Guard lured the swan into a warm building, where the ice thawed. The New York Post reports:
“I have been caring for swans for years and I admit that this is the first time I have ever come across anything like this,” said Swan Guard Sheng Liang. “We think it must have happened when she fell asleep with a wet beak.”
Sheng, 45, lured the frozen fowl to shore, then rushed her to a “swan house” the group uses for healing sick or injured birds, according to CEN.
“Once there, we put her in a warm room and waited for the ice to melt,” Sheng said. “Once she could open her beak again, we gave her a special treat of fish before taking her back to the river.”

Animal Pictures