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.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts, yeah, we're talking to you ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 200 countries around the world daily.   
Hippo ... !
Today is  -  National Hippo 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
Argentina - Bolivia - Brazil - Canada - Colombia - Mexico - Puerto Rico - United States
Bosnia/Herzegovina - Bulgaria - Croatia - Czech Republic - England - Estonia - France - Germany
Greece - Guernsey -  Iceland - Ireland - Italy - Latvia - Luxembourg - Malta - Moldova - Norway - Poland Portugal - Romania - Russia - Serbia - Slovakia - Slovenia - Spain - Sweden - Switzerland
Afghanistan - Bangladesh - China - Hong Kong - India - Indonesia -  Iran -Iraq - Israel - Malaysia  Pakistan - Sri Lanka
Algeria - Egypt - Morocco - Nigeria - Zambia
The Pacific

Today in History

1798 The first serious fist fight occurs in Congress.
1804 New Jersey becomes the last northern state to abolish slavery.
1862 Union General Ulysses S. Grant launches a major assault on Fort Donelson, Tenn.
1869 Charges of treason against Jefferson Davis are dropped.
1898 The U.S. battleship Maine blows up in Havana Harbor, killing 268 sailors and bringing hordes of Western cowboys and gunfighters rushing to enlist in the Spanish-American.
1900 The British threaten to use natives in the Boer War fight.
1925 The London Zoo announces it will install lights to cheer up fogged-in animals.
1934 U.S. Congress passes the Civil Works Emergency Relief Act, allotting new funds for Federal Emergency Relief Administration.
1940 Hitler orders that all British merchant ships will be considered warships.
1942 British forces in Singapore surrender to Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita.
1943 The Germans break the American Army's lines at the Fanid-Sened Sector in Tunisia, North Africa.
1944 American bombers attack the Abbey of Monte Cassino in an effort to neutralize it as a German observation post in central Italy.
1946 Royal Canadian mounted police arrest 22 as Soviet spies.
1950 Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-tung sign a mutual defense treaty in Moscow.
1957 Andrei Gromyko replaces Dmitri T. Shepilov as the Soviet Foreign Minister.
1961 Eighteen members of the U.S. figure skating team are lost in an airplane crash in Belgium.
1965 Canada's maple leaf flag is raised for the first time.
1967 Thirteen U.S. helicopters are shot down in one day in Vietnam
1974 U.S. gas stations threaten to close because of federal fuel policies.

President Obama Has Used His Executive Powers To Break The repugican cabal

President Obama Has Used His Executive Powers To Break The Republican Party
The fact that congressional repugicans have completely self-destructed over President Obama’s immigration executive orders illustrates how the president has used his executive powers to break the repugican cabal.
According to The Hill, repugican infighting is growing over the House-passed bill that would fund Homeland Security while overturning President Obama’s immigration executive actions, “repugican cabal infighting between the House and Senate is growing as repugicans work to prevent a partial shutdown of the Homeland Security Department at the end of the month. House wingnuts on Thursday pointedly criticized Senate repugicans for saying a House-approved bill funding the agency and reversing President Obama’s executive actions on immigration was dead in the Senate.”
In the first six weeks that repugicans began to misled Congress, they have passed one bill that became a law. The rest of their time has been split between passing dead on arrival legislation (attacks on Obamacare and authorizing Keystone XL) and fighting with each other over President Obama’s executive actions.
The president successfully derailed the repugican agenda through a series of targeted executive actions on issues that divide the repugican cabal. Obama has successfully fractured and broken the repugican majority by exploiting divides within their cabal. The White House had planned this strategy for months before the 2014 election. The repugicans never saw it coming.
Mitch McConnell said that he was shocked that President Obama wasn’t going to roll over for repugicans after the midterm election. By December 2014, McConnell was perplexed by the president’s behavior. By January 2015, the Senate Majority Leader was whining that the President had ignored the midterm election.
What has happened is that President Obama has divided the repugican cabal and destroyed any momentum that the new majority could have had. repugican control of the Senate only served to raise the expectations of those on the lunatic fringe and make the infighting worse. In two weeks, the Department of Homeland Security is going to shut down, and repugicans have no plan.
The potential Homeland Security shut down is a black eye in the making for repugicans that was caused by President Obama’s constitutional use of his executive powers. The president has repugicans on a string, and each executive has been a tug that forces Boehner and McConnell to dance to his tune.

Mitch McConnell Breaks Campaign Promise By Not Holding Friday Votes

Meet the new Senate schedule: same as the old Senate schedule.
mcconnell-frownWhen repugicans stole November’s midterm elections, senate repugican leader Mitch McConnell promised there would be changes in how the Senate functioned. More open debate, more amendments, more work hours, more votes.
McConnell has made good on some of that, holding more votes in his first month — mostly on amendments to a bill authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline — than in the entire previous year under Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.
But McConnell has yet to deliver on his suggestion that the Senate would be in session regularly and voting on Fridays.
“I don’t think we’ve had any votes on Friday in anybody’s memory,” he remarked during a news conference after the November elections.
More than a month into repugicans’ misleading of the Senate, there still has not been a vote in a Friday session.
On this Friday, Feb. 13, the House was in session and voting in the morning, but senators were long gone to get an early start on the President’s Day recess. They left with the Homeland Security Department facing a budget shut-off Feb. 27 with no solution in sight.
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson ridiculed McConnell over the state of affairs. “Despite Sen. McConnell’s pledges, the repugican senate has not held a single Friday vote,” he said.
McConnell spokesman Don Stewart blamed Democrats for blocking debate on House legislation to fund the Homeland Security Department and undo President Barack Obama’s immigration policies.
“Hard to vote when Democrats are blocking votes,” Stewart said.
President Harry Truman’s famous saying — if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog — might need to be updated for the Internet age.
Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez of Illinois says he has lots of friends — 380,000 of them to be precise. Facebook friends, that is.
In fact, Gutierrez boasted Friday that he has the most Facebook friends of any member of Congress — even surpassing House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
Gutierrez, a leading immigrant advocate, attributed it to interest in how immigrants can sign up for work permits and relief from deportation under executive actions announced by Obama.
“Is it because I’m the friendliest? No,” Gutierrez told reporters. “You want to know why I have them? I’m going to tell you. ‘Cuz we give them information they can’t get anywhere else.”
Gutierrez added, “I passed Nancy Pelosi, like, two months ago.”

After Six Years Of Obstructing Obama repugicans Now Want To Outlaw Senate Filibusters

After six years of obstructing every move that President Obama made, house repugicans are demanding that Mitch McConnell (r-KY) outlaw all Democratic filibusters.
A growing number of house repugican cabal wingnuts are pressuring  Mitch McConnell (r-Ky.) on Thursday to invoke the “nuclear option” and change the chamber’s rules to pass a bill defunding President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
Raúl Labrador (r-Idaho) and Tim Huelskamp (r-Kan.) said McConnell should change Senate rules, so the House-passed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding bill, which includes language to revoke Obama’s immigration-related actions, can bypass a Democratic filibuster in the upper chamber.
Mick Mulvaney (r-S.C.) also endorsed the idea at a Thursday news conference. He said there’s a “way to change the rules to allow us to move forward” and “take away the ability to filibuster.”
For six years, repugicans touted the virtues of the filibuster. They were outraged when then-Majority Leader Harry Reid modified the filibuster rules so that more of the president’s nominees could be confirmed, but that all changed now that the shoe is on the other foot.
Mitch McConnell and Senate repugicans spent years using a variety of techniques to block the Democratic agenda. In 2012, Boehner argued that Harry Reid’s threat to reform the filibuster was, “clearly designed to marginalize senate repugicans and their constituents while greasing the skids for controversial, partisan measures. Any bill that reaches a repugican-misled House based on Senate Democrats’ heavy-handed power play would be dead on arrival.”
Now that repugicans are in the majority, their view of the filibuster has changed. Many repugicans are arguing against “obstruction,” which isn’t obstruction at all. The repugicans obstructed legislation that they supported for the singular purpose of not letting legislation pass the Senate. In contrast, Senate Democrats are voting against a bill that they wholeheartedly oppose. Senate Democrats will not support the part of the legislation that overturns President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
The Democrats aren’t blocking the legislation in order to deny the repugicans “a win.” They are voting no because they think that it is a bad bill.
The level of hypocrisy is astounding. The filibuster was fine when Democrats were in charge, but now that repugicans are in the majority, the filibuster must go.` The answer isn’t to ban filibusters. The solution is for house repugicans to stop passing bills that will never become law.
House repugicans can’t win, so they are urging McConnell to rig the game.

Nebraska Senator Stalls Gun Bill To Avoid Arming LGBT Military Spouses

dave bloomfield
On Tuesday, Nebraska Senator Dave Bloomfield (Hoskins) tabled a bill that would have extended conceal and carry privileges to military spouses, because the law could apply to same-sex couples. Bloomfield’s decision effectively kills the bill for this legislative session. Legislative Bill 190 would have granted non-resident military spouses the right to apply for conceal carry permits immediately, rather than requiring them to wait 180 days to establish residency. Current law permits non-resident military members to obtain a permit right away, but their spouses are not eligible for a conceal carry permit until they have acquired residency.
In gun-friendly Nebraska, the bill sailed through the unicameral legislature 34-7 on an initial vote, and 38-0 on a second round vote. However, because the bill would defer to the military’s definition of marriage, some lawmakers became concerned that the measure would extend gun rights to same-sex military couples. The ensuing controversy over whether the bill would acknowledge the Defense Department’s definition of marriage, lead to Bloomfield putting the bill on hold. The disappointed Senator, complained, “how we got the whole issue of gay marriage combined with concealed carry is beyond me”.
Although Nebraska’s Unicameral legislature is ostensibly non-partisan, Bloomfield was initially appointed to his seat by repglican governor Dave Heineman. At the time he was chosen, Bloomfield was the acting chair of the Wayne County repugican cabal. On most issues, Bloomfield is an outspoken proponent of expanding liberty for Nebraska residents. For example, he has been a strong advocate for repealing the state’s helmet laws, so that motorcycle riders don’t have to abide by those pesky rules that might protect them from serious head injuries.
However, like most repugicans who love liberty, Bloomfield draws the line at permitting same-sex couples to enjoy the freedoms other Nebraskans take for granted. As a wingnut, Bloomfield no doubt thinks he loves individual rights, and by dog, he probably believes he supports the troops as well. However, when push comes to shove, he places an even higher value on the freedom to discriminate against gays and lesbians than he does on the right to carry.
Wingnut ideology often involves a struggle between the repugican cabal’s professed commitment to personal liberty, and their desire to preserve existing hierarchies in class, gender, race, and sexual orientation. All too often, when these competing values are in conflict, conservative lawmakers reveal that support for continued oppression of disadvantaged groups trumps their commitment to individual liberty.
One can hardly imagine an issue that repugicans would stand up for more than allowing the spouses of our men and women in uniform to legally carry a concealed firearm. However, given the choice between standing up for gun rights and upholding discrimination against gays and lesbians, Nebraska has chosen to stand on the side of discrimination. Given an option between siding with military families or aligning with homophobic bigotry, the author of the bill has stalled his legislation, revealing that his allegiance leans towards discrimination.

Why is Walker trying to defund the agendy that is investigating him?

Why do the Wisconsin governor and his allies want to gut an independent anti-corruption agency?

Here’s a good government rule of thumb: foxes ought not guard the hen house. When self-interested politicians rig the rules to protect themselves against independent scrutiny, citizens have a reason to be concerned.  Common sense tells us that any politician – especially one with White House dreams like Wisconsin’s  Scott Walker – should know that undermining an independent government agency sure makes it look like you’ve got something to hide.
Walker stile office – and stole office again last fall – by casting himself as a wingnut reformer. His zeal for cutting budgets and bashing unions has made him popular on the right. Following a reportedly “strong performance” at Iowa’s Freedom Summit, sponsored by Citizens United, the same organization that brought you unlimited and unaccountable secret money in politics through its infamous Supreme Court case, Walker filed paperwork last week to set up a 527 political organization, “Our American Revival,” to explore a run for pretender in 2016.
This first move towards a pretender run is sure to bring Walker plenty of attention from reporters and repugican agitators. Yet it seems Walker’s dreams for the Oval Office might lead him, or allies helping to position him, to interfere with an independent investigation into his campaigns. Walker’s loyalists are attempting to defund, undermine, and destroy Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (GAB), an independent investigative agency, which enforces ethics, campaign finance, and election laws. It’s an agency that investigated alleged illegal campaign finance violations that plagued Walker’s 2012 recall election.
Top election law experts around the country call Wisconsin’s GAB, “America’s Top Model” of agencies charged with administering state elections.  Most modern democracies around the world have independent election overseers to avoid partisan hacks writing election rules to favor their party. Unfortunately, impartial election boards are not common in American democracy yet.  Wisconsin’s GAB is the gold standard, and is watched closely by reformers eager to modernize our political system so that voters set the rules for politicians, instead of politicians writing rules for themselves.
The GAB was created in 2007 with virtually unanimous, bipartisan support in the state legislature. It replaced a collection of ineffective, partisan state elections and ethics boards.  By law, six retired judges make up the board. They are selected in a deliberate, three-part process to ensure that they’re non-partisan and politically impartial. A key provision of the law blocks legislative appropriators from meddling in the agency’s investigations.
Allies of Walker are unhappy because in 2012 the GAB voted unanimously to investigate possible illegal coordination between the governor’s recall campaign and two outside special interest groups.
Allies of  Walker are unhappy because in 2012 the GAB voted unanimously to investigate possible illegal coordination between the governor’s recall campaign and two outside special interest groups, Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Those organizations spent millions of dollars on Walker’s behalf in the recall election.   The GAB also cooperated and pooled resources with another probe, “John Doe II,” led by repugican and Democratic District Attorneys and a repugican Special Prosecutor.
The John Doe investigators considered potential criminal charges of illegal coordination between Wisconsin Club for Growth and other groups with the Walker campaign during the 2012 recall elections. The John Doe process in Wisconsin is similar to a grand jury investigation - it’s largely secret and permits grants of immunity from prosecution to witnesses in exchange for their testimony.
Some of Walker’s political allies want to eviscerate the GAB. Others are trying to gut longstanding campaign finance protections. Wisconsin Club for Growth has filed a lawsuit against the GAB, claiming that it lacked power to investigate the possible illegal campaign coordination. Another lawsuit implies that anti-coordination rules, designed to prevent circumvention of contribution limits, impinge on free speech.
Meanwhile, the GAB also is facing legislative attacks.  The legislature has cut GAB funding in the last three state budgets and launched an audit of the agency in an attempt to embarrass and undermine it.  Most recently—and alarmingly – Wisconsin’s speaker of the assembly and the senate majority leader, both repugicans, have pledged an ill-advised effort to ram through legislation adding partisan appointments to the nonpartisan panel of retired judges, or replace it altogether with partisans.
Either move would destroy the agency’s independence and ability to hold Wisconsin’s government accountable.  To date, the ongoing John Doe investigation (now enjoined by a federal court) has not produced charges against Walker or his campaign.  But if the governor allows allies in the Legislature to eviscerate an independent state agency that voted unanimously to investigate his past campaign, he will face plenty of questions about his role in the debacle that will turn his White House dream into a nightmare for him. It is already a night mare for America.

Lush Dimbulb Advises Scott Walker To Say He Quit College Because of ‘Created’ Rape Culture

Smirking Rush
This has not been a good week for Scott Walker.  First he made a fool of himself to the world and now everyone is talking about the fact that he is a college drop out.
No doubt, the fact that Scott Walker dropped out of college presents a problem because it serves to remind America of Walker’s failings.  His academic failures at Marquette University pale in comparison to the fact that a public vetting of Walker’s college years would remind America just how warped his ethical compass is.  No doubt, that would be seen as a strength to the morally challenged repugican cabal.  But it’s another story in mainstream America.
Sarah Jones wrote about Walker’s the ends justifies the means code of ethics back in 2011.
A pause while we wonder just what kind of person is so ambitious, so malevolent, so Machiavellian ends-justify-the-means type that they repeatedly campaign illegally in college. If a person starts cheating so maliciously in college that they are called “unfit” for the job they seek when the stakes are basically nothing compared to a state wide or national fight, it’s safe to conclude that they are already the dredges of ethics in politics. Lucky for Scott, this inability to operate in an ethical manner makes him a star in the modern repugican cabal.
With so many skeletons in the closet, what’s a repugican candidate wannabe to do?  Lush Dimbulb has the perfect solution if you’re an ethically challenged politician vying to be a pretender candidate for the Koch Brothers’ brand. It’s also helpful if you’re political cabal has a misogynistic mentality that is incapable of seeing the absurdity of waging a war on yoga pants.
Of course, Lush begins his defense of Walker with an anti-education rant in which he claims that college is what got America into trouble.  It’s classic for a cabal in which intelligence and education are seen as weaknesses.
Meanwhile, over here we got Scott Walker, who all of a sudden is disqualified for the pretendership ’cause he didn’t go to college.  Well, he didn’t finish.  He abandoned college in his senior year, I think.  So now he didn’t go to college so he’s not qualified, which is absurd.  Most of the people who’ve gotten this country in deep trouble have come out of college.  They have been taught how to mess things up in college.  They have been instructed in bureaucracy and sustaining bureaucracy and never solving problems and getting credit for solving problems.  They never solve anything.  They came out of college.
Later in the program, Lush suggests that Walker tell people he quit college to avoid being accused of rape.
My answer would be: “I left college because I didn’t want to be accused of rape someday.”  Now, he can’t say that, of course, but I mean that would just ram it right down their throats.  Trying to create this rape culture on the campus.
Well, I quit because I didn’t want to be accused of rape down the road.  It seems like any man that goes to college could randomly be accused of committing rape, and whether the story’s true or not doesn’t matter.  The people who write the story, ‘Well, I may not have gotten it right here, but we know it happens.’  So I wanted to remove myself from this culture that might have turned me into a very mean guy.”  And just see what they say.  Cram what they believe, what they claim right down their throats.
Of course, Lush wouldn’t be Lush unless he can find some way to blame the failings of ethically challenged men like Walker and himself on women.
The reality is while Lush is as pro Walker as Lush is capable of being pro anyone other than himself, he does not offer this advise as an altruistic gesture.  This is as much about trying to claim that women lie about rape and rape culture doesn’t really exist as it is about giving his boy Scott a politically correct lie to explain his failings as a human being and as a student.

Home-schooled and illiterate

The religio-wingnuts call it the "responsible" choice, but for some kids it means isolation with little education .
In recent weeks, home schooling has received nationwide attention because of repugican pretender candidate Rick Santorum's home-schooling family. Though Santorum paints a rosy picture of home schooling in the United States, and calls attention to the "responsibility" all parents have to take their children's education into their own hands, he fails to acknowledge the very real potential for educational neglect among some home-schooling families - neglect that has been taking place for decades, and continues to this day.
While the practice of home schooling is new to many people, my own interest in it was sparked nearly 20 years ago. I was a socially awkward adolescent with a chaotic family life, and became close to a wingnut christian home-schooling family that seemed perfect in every way. Through my connection to this family, I was introduced to a whole world of wingnut christian home-schoolers, some of whom we would now consider "Quiverfull" families: home-schooling wingnuts who eschew any form of family planning and choose instead to "trust dog" with matters related to procreation.
Though I fell out of touch with my home-schooled friends as we grew older, a few years ago, I reconnected with a few ex-Quiverfull peers on a new support blog called No Longer Quivering. Poring over their stories, I was shocked to find so many tales of gross educational neglect. I don't merely mean that they had received what I now view as an overly politicized education with huge gaps, for example, in American history, evolution or sexuality. Rather, what disturbed me were the many stories about home-schoolers who were barely literate when they graduated, or whose math and science education had never extended much past middle school.

New Orleans' Nearly All-Charter School System Is Struggling, But Bobby Jindal Wants It To Be A Model

Louisiana Governor and likely presidential candidate Bobby Jindal (r) released his new "roadmap" for reforming K-12 education Monday morning, focusing on the importance of deregulating and privatizing public schools and holding up New Orleans' nearly all-charter school district as a model for the nation."I'm proud we've increased the number of charter schools, nearly doubling them," Jindal told an audience on Capitol Hill. "I get so frustrated when people tell us to wait for incremental gains. We have seen remarkable gains."
But new data calls the supposed gains into question. The class of 2014 graduating from the 90%-charter New Orleans Recovery School District scored so low on the national ACT test that they didn't meet the minimum requirements for Louisiana's colleges.
According to numbers crunched by Louisiana public school teacher and doctor of statistics Mercedes Schneider, just over 6 percent of high school seniors in New Orleans scored high enough in English and Math to qualify for admission into a Louisiana four-year college or university straight out of high school. Five of the district's 16 high schools produced not a single student who met these requirements.

Random Photos

Burrowing burglar who became trapped between air ducts had to be freed by firefighters

A burglar who tore through a Seattle apartment building’s drywall in an attempt to get away from police instead found himself trapped between air ducts and had to be freed by firefighters. It happened on Tuesday night at the Prudential apartment complex. The burrowing burglar's saga began when he mangled a soda machine in the apartment's laundry room, only to grab a fistful of quarters.

A 43-foot yacht caused traffic jam after getting stuck in snow bank

A 43-foot-long yacht named Maggie Mae blocked traffic in downtown Boston on Wednesday afternoon.
The boat was being towed by an 18-wheeler that stopped after getting stuck in a 6-foot snow bank. The boat was eventually freed after crews dug up snow and towed the truck out.

Phil Bennett, vice president of sales for the boat's manufacturer, Hinckley Yachts, said that the boat in question is a 43-foot ‘Talaria’ that had just been completed.
“She was headed to the New England Boat Show,” Bennett explained. “She’ll be on display there.”

How "Clean" Was Sold to America with Fake Science

A hundred years ago, few people thought about their bodies and bodily functions with the horror we do today. There was no real concept of germs, body odor, or bad breath. But the world was changing. More people had indoor plumbing and a little free time for anxiety every year. And manufacturers were developing products to sell. However, in order to sell those products, they had to create a need. That’s where advertising came in. First, you have to convince people that they need your product, even if you have to insult them to do so. Take Listerine: it was originally sold to doctors as a surgical disinfectant. Lambert Pharmacal wanted to broaden Listerine’s sales base, but why would regular folks need to buy a surgical disinfectant? Company owner Gerard Lambert tells about a 1914 brainstorming session:
    I asked him if Listerine was good for bad breath. He excused himself for a moment and came back with a big book of newspaper clippings. He sat in a chair and I stood looking over his shoulder. He thumbed through the immense book.

    "Here it is, Gerard. It says in this clipping from the British Lancet that in cases of halitosis . . ." I interrupted, "What is halitosis?" "Oh," he said, "that is the medical term for bad breath."

    [The chemist] never knew what had hit him. I bustled the poor old fellow out of the room. "There," I said," is something to hang our hat on."
Halitosis was a malady the American public had never heard of, but it was terrifying enough to make mouthwash a thing. The same happened for other personal hygiene products, which you can read about at Gizmodo. 

Scholars Determine That Climate Shapes How Languages Sound

Caleb Everett, Damián E. Blasi and Seán G. Roberts recently published the results of their research into common characteristics of languages based on native climate. They conclude that as languages evolve, their dominant sounds reflect the climates where they develop. In particular, humidity plays a major role. Tonal languages are more likely to develop in wet climates. Science Daily explains that:
. . . languages with complex tones --those that use three or more tones for sound contrast -- are much more likely to occur in humid regions of the world, while languages with simple tone occur more frequently in desiccated regions, whether frigid areas or dry deserts. […]
One explanation, supported by extensive experimental data discussed in the study, is that inhaling dry air causes laryngeal dehydration and decreases vocal fold elasticity. It's probably more difficult to achieve complex tones in arid climates--particularly very cold ones--when contrasted to warmer and more humid climates. The result is that deviations of sounds, including increased jitter and shimmer, are associated with very cold or desiccated climates, the study says.

Coup de Grâce

The lethal stabbing that killed the English king was determined by finding a major mark on the interior surface of the skull.

Embracing 6,000 Years

The prehistoric remains were positioned curled into the fetal position, as if spooning each other.

Historical Photos


Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull pose for a Wild West Show Promotional Photo
Buffalo Bill and Sitting Bull pose for a Wild West Show Promotional Photo

The Polar Vortex and Global Warming

The polar vortex is sending cold air to the East again. Research continues into role warming might play.

Plastic Ocean

Humans are throwing enough plastic into the world's oceans to cover Manhattan in coffee stirrers and plastic bags, 34 times over.

Health officials take action about Californian supermarket selling frozen raccoons as food

The Health Department have taken action after a Los Angeles County supermarket’s frozen foods section featured an unusual item.
Inspectors from the LA County Health Department visited the Metro Supermarket in Temple City on Tuesday, after being informed that the market was selling raccoons as food. Employees say the raccoons, frozen, and bagged, were selling for $9.99 per pound. The employees say raccoon is considered a delicacy in China.
Customer Christina Dow was at the market, and after seeing the frozen raccoons went on to contact the LA County Health Department, who say that selling raccoons as food may indeed be perfectly legal, depending on the origins of the meat. The market has ceased selling raccoons, since the department’s visit, until it and be reviewed and officially approved.

Several local agencies, including the LA County District Attorney’s office, were unable to say whether selling raccoons as food was legal or not. Store employees say they’ve been selling raccoons for years, and never experienced any issues until now.

Anger after endangered pangolins seized from poachers were sold to restaurants by authorities

Conservationists are voicing their concerns after the northern province of Bac Ninh in Vietnam chose to sell 42 pangolins seized from poachers, warning that such a move would only encourage wildlife trade. The endangered animals, all alive, were seized by local police and then handed to forest rangers on February 1. After asking the poachers to pay fines, officials in the province sold the pangolins to local restaurants at the street price of VND1.2 million (£37, $56) a kilo. The animals, which weighed 201 kilograms in total, brought the province around £7,400 ($11,300).
Members of Education for Nature-Vietnam, an environmental group in Hanoi, have strongly criticized the decision, calling it a "failure" in deterring wildlife trade. The group said by selling the pangolins, the authorities have become “a link” of the trading of the animals, and as such sanctioning illegal wildlife trade. It said the pangolins seized are of the Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica) species, which is critically endangered due to high levels of poaching. The animal’s meat is considered a luxury food while its scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat conditions such as psoriasis and poor circulation.
Such treatments have not been backed by adequate scientific evidence. Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, deputy director of Education for Nature-Vietnam, said: “Any violations regarding the animals should receive criminal punishment. We also can't treat them simply as evidence of a crime and then trade them." Le Van Minh, head of Bac Ninh’s Forest Management Department, said they have dealt with the animals in accordance with the law.
Minh said a government regulation in 2006 put pangolin in the group of wild animals whose commercial use should be limited but they can still be sold by registered traders or by the authorities. The pangolins were too weak to be saved anyway, he said. Bac Ninh officials seem to be unaware of a new law that took effect last year and gave the pangolin, one of the world's most trafficked animals, a new conservation status. Hoang Thi Thanh Nhan, a senior official from the environment ministry, said that it is a rare animal listed for protection priority in Vietnam and cannot be traded.

Vultures Daily Walkies

Handlers at ZSL London Zoo embark on a program to help two birds get to know each other in advance of a spring exhibit.

Your dog understands you

With a brief glance, your dog can figure out your mood.

Bahamian Hummingbird

A subspecies of the Bahama woodstar is distinct enough to get a new name, a research team argues.

Out of Africa?

New fossil evidence points the way toward solving the mystery of how the animals arrived in the New World.

Shark Attack

Florida once again tops the list of states where shark attacks are reported -- but it just may be because people swim there year-round.

Living high and low ... and chewing gum

Our earliest animal ancestors were a tiny but tough group, reveals newly discovered remains of the world's first tree-dwelling and subterranean mammal ancestors. 

Oldest Known Fur Seal

Misidentified remains provide a missing link that helps resolve a gap of more than 5 million years in fur seal and sea lion evolutionary history.

Animal Pictures